June 20, 2024
Simona Halep

Simona Halep

Former world No 1 Simona Halep has revealed one of the ramifications of her doping ban was that she could not even attend a tennis tournament to watch a match.
The two-time Grand Slam champion described this as a “disaster” and the “most difficult” aspect of her suspension, but insisted she did not hate tennis at any stage as it remained her passion.

Simona Halep made her return to action earlier this week as a wildcard at the Miami Open, where she was beaten by Paula Badosa in a three-set opening round match.

The 32-year-old Romanian had been unable to compete since the 2022 US Open due to an initial suspension and subsequent ban by the International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) after testing positive for banned substance Roxadustat during the New York major.

Last month, the ban was reduced to nine months following Halep’s appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), allowing her to play again with immediate effect as she had already been unable to compete for over a year.
In an interview with WTA Insider, Halep divulged how she reacted when she learned the news of the CAS decision.

“I was talking to my lawyers and I was just smiling. I told them, ‘Guys, the decision is correct.’ I was so happy. I had tears after I finished the call with them,” the Romanian said.

“I was just happy that the truth came out and the decision was fair. So, 18 months of stress were finished, and I was now able to go play tennis. Because the most difficult thing was that I was not able to go to watch a tennis match.

“This was a disaster for a tennis player. Because I was suspended, I could not even watch a tennis match [at a tournament]. So it was difficult.”

When asked if she found herself resenting the support during her ban, Halep replied: “No, I didn’t have that darkness. People were supporting me from the first day until the last one.

“Seeing that the opponents supported me and they believed that I was clean gave me strength and gave me the positive to keep fighting. So no, I didn’t have that.

“One person, a very important person to me, told me that I should not hate tennis because tennis did not give me this difficult period. I was thinking about it, and I said, yeah, tennis is still my passion. I love to do this, and I will be back when I have the right decision.”

The former French Open and Wimbledon winner also explained she does not yet have a plan for her comeback since her Miami return came so quickly.

“This was so fast. To be honest, I was thinking that I would come back on clay to have a little bit of time to take a breath and settle down. But the positive feeling was so big, and I had some people around me who told me you have to go to feel the energy again,” Simona Halep said.

“It was the right decision, the best decision to come to Miami, to feel the energy, to feel the love of people and to feel the freedom again.

“I don’t have a plan. It’s just the first tournament, and I don’t know what the plan is going to be, but I want to play as much as possible to get the rhythm back. I’m old. I’m not that young anymore and I have to manage the comeback very well.

“I don’t want to get injured. Most people told me to be worried about it because 18 months is a lot and I have to take it slow. So I have to talk to [coach] Carlos [Martinez] and we’re going to decide together, for sure.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

WP2Social Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com