World No. 15 Simona Halep said she suffered last year but returned stronger. Last year, a calf injury forced Halep to skip the French Open, Wimbledon and Tokyo Olympics. Halep, 30, hasn’t lost a match this year. In her first tournament of the season, Halep won the Melbourne Summer Set 1 to win her first title since 2020.
On Thursday, Halep saw off Beatriz Haddad Maia 6-2 6-0 to reach the Australian Ooen third round. “Yeah, I enjoy tennis more, I’m 30, so I’m old enough to start enjoying this sport. I like it and I just have to be more relaxed now.
Last year wasn’t easy with the injury, I had to stay about three or four months away so I suffered but I came back stronger. Now I’m ready to work harder and play some good matches here,” Halep said on-court after her win.
Halep hopes to play for a few more years
At the start of the year, Halep explained why she’s not thinking about retirement yet. “I thought about it being close to the end, but honestly after this pre-season and how I feel right now at the tournament, I feel like I have a few more years to play.
My husband is supporting me in that direction, my family as well. My team says I'm still good enough to go there and compete, so I'm not thinking about retirement yet. I just want to enjoy and give my best because I know there is another chance," Halep explained.
Halep is a two-time Grand Slam champion and a former world No. 1. Halep was asked what motivates her to keep going at 30. “To see how good I can still be, to see how much I can still win. I'm motivated to just try my best every day," Halep said. Halep plays Danka Kovinic in the Australian Open third round.