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What happened to Simona Halep at the WTA Washington Open?

Joshua Rogers August 4, 2022
Citi Open - Day 5
Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Tennis fans have been asking what happened to Simona Halep at the 2022 Washington Open after the former world no.1 was forced to retire.

The 2022 Washington Open (also known as the Citi Open) is currently taking place in Washington, DC. The tournament runs from August 1 to August 7 at the William HG FitzGerald Tennis Center.

It is part of the American hard court season and enables players to prepare for the upcoming US Open. Two-time Grand Slam champion Simona Halep was taking part this week but her Round of 16 match was cut short in rather confusing circumstances.

Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

What happened to Simona Halep at the WTA Washington Open?

The Romanian third seed was taking on Anna Kalinskaya in the Round of 16 at the Citi Open. However, the former world no.1 was forced to retire from the match while down 5-7 0-2. Fans naturally wondered what happened to Simona Halep as her opponent moved on to the next round.

According to reports, Simona Halep retired from the match due to an illness and was clearly not feeling her usual self. From the start of the match it was clear something wasn’t right as she looked in visible discomfort throughout.

Some fans have speculated the extremely hot and humid conditions on court played a factor.

Australia’s Daria Saville upset top-seed and defending champion Jessica Pegula in her Round of 16 match. Afterwards she acknowledged the difficult conditions.

“I stayed really composed,” Saville told News9 Live. “I managed the energy really well. It was very hot.”

Twitter account Romanian Tennis shared footage of Halep appearing to struggle with the heat. Other fans claimed Simona looked “exhausted” in the tough conditions.

Fans were obviously concerned and wished Simona a healthy recovery:

Halep has had difficulties on court before

This isn’t the first time Halep has visibly struggled on court.

Following her elimination from the 2022 French Open at the hands of Zheng Qinwen, Simona revealed she suffered a panic attack during the match.

Halep was leading the match when the panic attack occurred and she eventually called the doctor on to the court.

“I probably put pressure on myself too much, because I really wanted to do well,” she told SI afterwards. “I felt good, I practise, I work hard. But it just didn’t happen, and probably I got a little bit of panic during [the match] thinking, overthinking.

“But I was leading, so there is no reason, in particular, why it happened. It happened, so I have to accept it. It’s something normal that everybody has.”

“I didn’t feel better during the match,” she told the Guardian. “If I would have felt better, I would have started to play a little bit better. No, I couldn’t. That’s why I said at the start I couldn’t manage it, and I don’t have many words about it. I just accept it, and I take it.

As for the 2022 Washington Open, Halep’s opponent, Anna Kalinskaya, will now face Estonian Kaia Kanepi in the quarter-finals.

Who do you think will win the Citi Open? Let us know in the comments below.

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Joshua is a senior sports writer with over four years' experience in online writing. He graduated with a BA in Ancient History from The University of Manchester before receiving an MA in Sports Journalism from The University of Central Lancashire. He became a trending writer for a leading social publisher and later spent time covering the 2018 World Cup for The Mirror Online. He then moved to a social marketing agency where he acted as website editor. His specialties on The Focus include F1, tennis, NBA, NFL and combat sports.