Tennis: Halep withdraws from Miami Open with shoulder injury

FILE PHOTO: Mar 25, 2021; Miami, Florida, USA; Simona Halep of Romania hits a forehand in the second round of the Miami Open at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

(Reuters) – Third seed Simona Halep has withdrawn from the Miami Open singles and doubles events due to a right shoulder injury, the Romanian said on Saturday.

Halep, who received a bye into the second round where she beat France’s Caroline Garcia in three sets, was set to play Latvian Anastasija Sevastova, who will now receive a walkover and advance to the last-16.

Halep, the reigning Wimbledon champion, said she began to feel pain after practice sessions at her first tournament since a quarter-final exit at the Australian Open last month.

“I’m very sorry I have to pull out of singles and doubles at the Miami Open, but my injury doesn’t let me play here as I expected,” Halep, who had partnered with Angelique Kerber in the doubles, said.

“I’m sad that I can’t continue, I wanted to come here to give my best and play many matches but unfortunately I can’t. Hopefully next year I will be back healthy and better.”

Halep’s withdrawal is a blow for the March 22-April 4 tournament, which has already seen Serena Williams pull out to recover from oral surgery, while Roger Federer, Rafa Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Dominic Thiem have all skipped the ATP 1000 event.

Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Hugh Lawson

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