Halep pulls out of Qatar Open

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Paris

World number three Simona Halep has pulled out of next week’s Qatar Open, organisers of the WTA event announced on Tuesday.

The Romanian’s withdrawal follows her Australian Open quarter-final loss to Serena Williams.

“Unfortunately I’ve decided to withdraw, I can’t wait to be back in Doha next year,” organisers quoted her as saying on Instagram. She gave no reason for her absence from the March 1-6 tournament.

With Halep missing the top seeds in Qatar are world number one Ashleigh Barty, and Sofia Kenin, fourth in the world and winner of the Australian Open in 2020. At Melbourne Halep, 29, was thwarted by Williams in her bid for a maiden triumph at the year’s opening Grand Slam after falling short to Caroline Wozniacki in the 2018 decider.—AP