Monday, July 26, 2021
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Halep withdraws from Wimbledon with injury

Defending women’s singles champion Simona Halep has pulled out of Wimbledon because of injury, the world No. 3 Romanian said on Friday.

In May, Halep exited the clay-court event in Rome after suffering a calf injury during her second-round match against Angelique Kerber and subsequently missed the French Open.

“It is with great sadness that I’m announcing my withdrawal from The Championships as my calf injury has not fully recovered,” the 29-year-old, who won the title when Wimbledon was last held in 2019, said on Instagram.

“I gave it everything I had in order to be ready to play Wimbledon and after having such special memories from two years ago, I was excited and honored to step back on these beautiful courts as defending champion.

“Unfortunately, my body didn’t cooperate and I’ll have to save that feeling for next year.”

Halep was denied a chance to defend her title when Wimbledon was canceled last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

She joins world No. 2 Naomi Osaka in withdrawing from the grass-court Grand Slam, with Osaka also skipping Wimbledon following her withdrawal from Roland Garros due to mental health.

In their absence, Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka will climb to be the No. 2 seed behind top-ranked Australian Ash Barty, with the singles draw for both men and women to be held later on Friday.

“I can honestly say that I’m really down and upset about having to take this decision,” Halep added. “This period has been difficult but to miss the last two Majors has made it even more challenging mentally and physically.

“We will see what the future holds but I’m hoping it will make me a stronger person and athlete.”

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