“Not Easy for Players”: Simona Halep Says Bubble May Affect Performance at Miami Open 2021

Published 03/25/2021, 2:00 AM 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


Romanian tennis star Simona Halep has given her take on the growing talent pool that is in evidence at WTA events.

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Speaking to the press ahead of the Miami Open, which gets underway on Thursday, the two-time Grand Slam champion said that with all the restrictions and the bubble in place to ensure player safety in COVID times, she isn’t sure if the players can give off their best.

Halep said that women players tend to wilt more in the face of pressure and “this period is not easy for everybody”.

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Halep says players may not be in a position to give their best because of the bubble

The current World Number 3 added that with the players largely confined to a closed environment – hotels to be precise – they might struggle to be in the best frame of mind for the competition.

“I don’t believe all the players can perform at (the) highest level that they can offer,” the 29-year-old Romanian said.

Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 10, 2021 Romania’s Simona Halep in action during her second round match against Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic REUTERS/Kelly Defina

However, she did acknowledge the depth in contemporary women’s tennis, saying that no single player will start the tournament as an absolute favorite as anyone in the Top-10 or even “outside” can fancy winning the tournament.

Simona Halep says all competing players have a chance to win Miami Open

This year’s Australian Open proved to be a classic test case for the emerging talent pool in the women’s game, as the women’s draw saw many close battles and some stunning upsets.

While conceding that she isn’t “surprised” by the sheer number of talents that seem to pop up on the horizon of women’s tennis with every tournament, Halep said that it isn’t easy for players to sustain their levels week-in, week-out.

“I know that tournaments are not easy for the players for every week in this situation. That’s why I feel like all the players have a chance to win the tournament that they play,” Halep said.

The Romanian reached the quarter-finals at the Australian Open this year after getting a massive scare from home favorite Ajla Tomljanovic in the second round.

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She fought past reigning French Open champion Iga Swiatek in the fourth-round to set up a last-eight date with 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams.

However, she couldn’t survive the Serena onslaught as went down in straight sets, marking another unsuccessful campaign at Melbourne Park.

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Priyabrata Chowdhury

972 articles

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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