In big news coming from the WTA circuit, second seed Simona Halep has withdrawn from the Qatar Total Open 2020. Importantly, this was the first Premier 5 event on the WTA 2020 calendar.
Halep has apparently made the choice so that she can give her best at Indian Wells and Miami. She needs a week off to train and relax.
Currently, the Romanian star is competing in the finals of the Dubai Tennis championships. There, she is facing Elena Rybakina. She has already racked up some good victories including a win over long time rival Aryna Sabalenka.
How Does The Field At Qatar Open Change With Simona Halep Withdrawing?
Halep’s loss has become Sabalenka’s gain. Aryna had just missed the top 8 seeding at the tournament with her being seeded ninth. This was because 7 of the top 10 players of the world were competing. With Halep’s withdrawal, she gets a bye in the first round where she was supposed to face Iga Swiatek who made it to the fourth round of the Australian Open.
Apart from her, the tournament will see some more good competition. World number 1 Ashleigh Barty will be making her return through this tournament. She will be seen for the first time after her unfortunate semifinals loss to Sofia Kenin.
The tournament will also see the participation of Karolina Pliskova, Belinda Bencic, Elina Svitolina, Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin, Kiki Bertens and Petra Kvitova.
While Pliskova has won the event in 2017, Kvitova has been the champion in 2018.
Simona Halep’s withdrawal drastically changes the equations of the tournament. Her performance at Dubai had made her a top contender. However, with her not in the picture, stars like Ashleigh Barty will feel like they have a much easier road this time.
Who do you think will be the winner of the Qatar Total Open 2020?