Defending champion Simona Halep withdraws from Wimbledon just MINUTES before draw after failing to recover from calf injury that forced her to miss the French Open
- Simona Halep has withdrawn from Wimbledon due to a continuing calf injury
- The defending champion pulled out just five minutes before the draw was made
- The Romanian missed the French Open too after tearing her left calf muscle
- Halep produced a stunning display to beat Serena Williams in the 2019 final
Defending champion Simona Halep has pulled out of Wimbledon with a calf injury.
The Romanian, who produced a stunning display to defeat Serena Williams in the final two years ago, tore her left calf muscle during a match in Rome in May and was forced to miss the French Open.
Five minutes before the socially distanced draw began Wimbledon was hit by another withdrawal when Halep made a last gasp pullout.
Defending champion Simona Halep withdrew from Wimbledon five minutes before the draw
The Romanian has failed to recover from a calf injury that also kept her out of the French Open
The Romanian had been practising at the All England Club and was hoping to play, but decided she was not yet fit enough.
The 29-year-old said on wimbledon.com: ‘It is with great sadness that I’m announcing my withdrawal from the championships as my calf injury has not fully recovered.’
Halep won her first grand slam title at Roland Garros in 2018 and had been thought of as a player most likely to thrive on slower surfaces prior to her brilliant run at the All England Club two years ago.
She said: ‘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 honoured to step back on these beautiful courts as defending champion.
Halep produced a stunning display in the 2019 final to blast away Serena Williams 6-2 6-2
‘Unfortunately, my body didn’t co-operate and I’ll have to save that feeling for next year.’
World number three Halep is the latest big name to withdraw and joins Naomi Osaka, Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem in missing the Championships. She will be replaced as second seed by Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka.
‘I can honestly say that I’m really down and upset about having to take this decision,’ continued Halep.
‘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.
‘Thank you to everyone at Wimbledon for your understanding and support.’
Dominic Thiem and Rafael Nadal will also both miss Wimbledon after withdrawing recently
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