Simona Halep takes positives from Wimbledon cancellation: ‘I am now champion for two years’

Simona Halep is trying to look on the bright side regarding the suspension of the tennis season due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Romanian former world No. 1 produced a flawless performance to beat Serena Williams in last year’s final, but this week’s cancellation of the grass-court Grand Slam means she will not get to defend her title this summer.

Halep, 28, is currently back in her native Romania where she has been locked down at home for 22 days, only popping out briefly to jog around the grounds of her residence.

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Asked about the Wimbledon cancellation, announced on Wednesday, Halep jokingly told Eurosport’s Tennis Legends podcast: “I take it positively, because I am now the defending champion for two years!

“So, I have to live with that for one more year, so that’s a good thing again.”

The WTA and ATP tours have been shut down until the middle of July at the earliest, but Halep is geared up for a longer suspension of the season – possibly the whole year.

“I know that the worst scenario in my head is that this year is going to be cancelled and, yeah, I’m sure we’re going to overcome this period if we listen and stay home safely,” she said.

“For the moment, I think it’s going to be longer than July. We hope for the U.S. Open [31 August to 13 September], but it’s not sure, because New York is struggling now.

“It’s the longest period that I haven’t touched a racket. Not the ball, the racket – since Dubai,” she said. “And I want to keep it that way for one more month.

“I just kept it very safe, because I am a little bit scared about it. And I just want to stay chilled.”

Halep said that while she misses her job, it was right that sport had faded into the background at a time of global crisis.

“It’s just a world problem and I just want to say that it’s safer that everything got cancelled. It’s not a small problem, it’s a huge problem. And we just have to listen to what they say, to stay home and being very safe,” she said.

“Tennis is not everything in my life.”


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