“Missed the Nerves”: Simona Halep Reveals Coming Back to Tennis Feels Like ‘Life’

Published 08/17/2021, 10:58 PM EDT
Aug 17, 2021; Mason, OH, USA; Simona Halep (ROU) returns a shot against Magda Linette (POL) during the Western and Southern Open tennis tournament at Lindner Family Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports


Two-time Grand Slam champion Simona Halep won her first WTA match in three months at the Cincinnati Open 2021. But more than winning, the competition and the nerves are what she missed during her time off the sport. And now that the feelings are back, the Romanian tennis professional feels alive.

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Since Italian Open 2021, Halep, who had injured her right calf, was recovering until the Canadian Open last week. However, she is now feeling the match intensity again as before.

Aug 17, 2021; Mason, OH, USA; Simona Halep (ROU) serves the ball against Magda Linette (POL) during the Western and Southern Open tennis tournament at Lindner Family Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Although it took her three sets, Halep passed the Magda Linette test in two hours and ten minutes, winning the opening round 6-4, 3-6, 6-1.

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Simona Halep on her return to the WTA Tour

In the post-match interview, Halep revealed that her struggle with the calf injury was agonizing. Moreover, because of her long break, her muscles are still not match-ready. Hence, she had to call for a medical time-out.

“I was very scared to actually come back because it was really painful in Rome. And, it was the first time in my life that I had this injury, so I didn’t know how to manage [it]. But I took enough time to recover, and now I feel safe on court,” Halep said.

Aug 17, 2021; Mason, OH, USA; Simona Halep (ROU) reacts against Magda Linette (POL) during the Western and Southern Open tennis tournament at Lindner Family Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Furthermore, while fans cheered for her, the three-time Cincinnati runner-up opened up on her nerves before a match.

On things she missed, Halep answered, “The competition, the nerves. I felt sick before the match in the stomach. I always get nervous before the matches, so I missed that a lot. And now, having it back, it feels like a life.”

While it is surprising, it is also inspiring to see a former World No.1 getting antsy before a match, as it shows fans that even the best get nervous. Hopefully, she continues fighting as she did in the opening round against Linette.

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Who will Halep face next in Cincinnati Open 2021?

In the second round, Halep will face the winner of reigning Canadian Open champion Camila Giorgi and semifinalist Jessica Pegula. Indeed, it would be a perfect test for her after her return.

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All in all, fans are excited to see the Romanian compete with the same ferocity on the WTA Tour. Let’s see how much she can build on at the Western and Southern Open before the US Open 2021.

Do you think Halep can go all the way in Cincinnati this year?

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Purav Joshi

1114 articles

Purav Joshi is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having a degree in Films, Television and Media Production, he guided his passion for writing and journalism into the sport of aces and rallies. With over 2 years of experience as a copywriter, Purav has authored over 500 tennis articles.

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