Simona Halep ‘not feeling 100 per cent’ as she withdraws from Dubai

Simona Halep has admitted that she is not quite ready to return to the court again after withdrawing from next week’s WTA 1000 tournament in Dubai.

After pulling out of this week’s event in Qatar, the current defending champion announced via twitter on Thursday that she would not be able to compete due to a lower back injury.

“Unfortunately I am not feeling 100 per cent in my lower back and I have made the tough decision to withdraw from Dubai”, said Halep.

“I have great memories from winning my 20th WTA title in Dubai last year so I’m disappointed that I won’t be able to defend my title”. 

The current world number two won the title here last year by beating the up and coming Kazakh Elena Rybakina in three tough sets. 

Her thrilling run to the title included another three set battle with Ons Jabeur in the last 16, where she had to save a match point in the final set tiebreaker. 

Halep’s Australian summer was slightly disappointing. After losing in two quick sets to Ekaterina Alexandrova in the Gippsland Trophy, many were sceptical of her fitness level heading into the first grand slam of the year.

However, a decent showing in Melbourne saw her reach the quarter finals once again, losing in straight sets to Serena Williams. 

Halep’s next scheduled tournament is in Miami, which runs between March 22 and April 4. This will be the first tournament where old ranking points will start to drop after the Covid-19 alterations, so players will once again need to defend their rankings. 

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