Wimbledon champion Simona Halep was left disappointed Wednesday after suffering a fresh injury setback in China that forced her to retire from the Wuhan Open with a lower back problem.
Halep said the problem that caused her to quit her third-round match felt different to the herniated disc she had suffered at the China Open in Beijing a year ago which brought an early end to the Romanian´s 2018 season.
“It´s lower back. I think it´s more muscle, but I don´t know yet because I haven´t checked it properly,” said two-time Grand Slam champion Halep.
The world number six led Elena Rybakina by a break and looked on her way to win the first set before her Kazakh opponent drew level. During the changeover after the ninth game Halep took a medical timeout for treatment to her back, but soon after the former world number one retired while serving at 4-5, 30-30. “At 4-4, 0-30 with the backhand, I had a sharp pain,” Halep revealed. “I don´t know yet, but it looks a little bit different [to the injury I had before], but it´s still the same zone. “I started to play well this tournament. I´m disappointed it happened again with the back.”
Halep remains in contention for one of the remaining six spots at the year-end WTA Finals in Shenzhen and is uncertain how her injury will affect the rest of her season.—AFP