Simona Halep dreams to play in 2024, but hopes are few

The Romanian tennis player is currently banned for doping, and she is awaiting the CAS verdict, expected in February 2024

by Lorenzo Ciotti
Simona Halep dreams to play in 2024, but hopes are few
© Julian Finney / Staff Getty Images Sport

In an interview with Paris Match, former WTA No.1 Simona Halep confessed that she is continuing to train. The only difference is that she currently does not have a team who follows her. The Romanian tennis player, banned for four due to being positive for doping, is continuing to fight like a lioness to prove her innocence, but it is clear, as she herself highlighted, that it will be impossible for her to take part in some important events in 2024, like the Olympics in Paris.

Simona Halep© Matthew Stockman / Staff Getty Images Sport

"I'm still training and preparing for my return to the court. At the moment I don't have a team, so I'm training alone in Bucharest. It's difficult to find motivation when there are no sporting deadlines and you don't know what the future holds," she told.

The two-time slam champion has a dream, the 2024 Olympic Games: "There is very little chance that I will be able to participate, but I will do everything to make this happen. Whatever happens, I will be there. Worst case scenario, as a spectator, because it will be magical.

I love Paris. It is a city where, beyond my sporting successes, I feel at home. If the sanction is confirmed, I cannot know what will happen in the next three years and how my body will evolve. My dream is to return, at any age.

One thing is certain: I want to choose how to end my career and I don't want to end it anywhere other than on the court. I think I deserve it after all the work I've done over the years."

Why Halep was disqualified and how she is evolving the situation

Last August, following the 2022 US Open, news arrived that shook the world of women's tennis.

Simona Halep tested positive for roxadustat, a banned substance that would have impaired her performance. The International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) ruled that Halep would serve a four-year suspension for doping. However, it was news a few weeks ago that her former number one will present her defense to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in February 2024, to safeguard her innocence from doping accusations.

The Swiss-based organization announced on its official website on December 12 that the 32-year-old's case will be heard in court between February 7 and 9 next year. Despite everything, Halep never stopped remaining confident, keeping hope alive for her return to the court

Simona Halep