“Back on the Clay”: Simona Halep Recovers From Injury and Begins Preparation for Her Favorite Season

Published 04/13/2021, 12:38 PM EDT
Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 14, 2021 Romania’s Simona Halep celebrates winning her fourth round match against Poland’s Iga Swiatek REUTERS/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake


Coming off a phenomenal 2020 clay court season and ranked No.1 on the surface this year, Simona Halep can’t wait to get started on her favorite red soil.

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The two-time Grand Slam champion withdrew from the Miami Open with an injury but has since had enough rest and recovery to return refreshed ahead of the European clay swing on the women’s tour.

Simona Halep has 9 career clay court titles, marginally trailing Serena Williams

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With nine career clay court titles to her credit, including the 2018 French Open, Halep is within touching distance of Serena Williams’ career tally of 13 titles on the surface.

The Romanian lifted two titles on dirt – at Prague and Rome – last year and followed it up with a fourth-round finish at Roland-Garros.

While the loss would have hurt, the fact that she went down to the eventual champion Iga Swiatek, albeit a rank rookie at the time, did soften the blow a tad.

Excited to be back on dirt, the 29-year-old Romanian took to Twitter to share the welcome news that she is out of rehab and has started preparing for the European clay court swing.

Simona Halep shares a picture with coach Darren Cahill as she resumes training for clay

Sharing a picture of herself posing happily with her coach Darren Cahill, Halep tagged it with a message saying. “First day back after 2 weeks of rehab and back on the clay. Today was a good day.”

After coming through a tricky clash against rising French star Caroline Garcia in her tournament opener at Miami, the Romanian withdrew from her next against Latvian Anastasija Sevastova.

Tennis – Yarra Valley Classic – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 1, 2021, Romania’s Simona Halep in action during her match against Russia’s Anastasia Potapova REUTERS/Loren Elliott

Voicing regret over the pullout, she was quoted as saying at the time, “I’m sad that I can’t continue, I wanted to come here to give my best and play matches but unfortunately I can’t.”

Along with current World No.1 Ashleigh Barty, Halep will topline the draw at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix, which gets underway next week.

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Her longtime coach, who wasn’t with her at this year’s Australian Open, flew in to help in her preparation for the upcoming clay court swing.

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The Romanian fell to 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams in the quarter-final at Melbourne Park.

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Priyabrata Chowdhury

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Priyabrata Chowdhury is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. He has been a print journalist for a decade, producing news pages for leading national dailies such as the Hindustan Times and The New Indian Express. His passion for sports eventually drove him to tennis writing.

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