The Hard Rock Stadium gave Simona Halep the hard truth when she would enter winning the opening match with a three-set victory over Caroline Garcia. Little did she know that was the beginning of the end for Miami this year.
"I'm sad that I can't continue, I wanted to come here to give my best...but unfortunately I can't," the WTA's no. 3 player said glumly. After making it through to the quarterfinal of the Australian Open and then entering the Miami Opened her first great hopes of doing well in the sunshine state.
Halep's first round berth with Caroline Garcia, she felt encouraged to do well and the first set Garcia played aggressive enough to quickly win the set. But it was Halep who used her long careered strategies to win the second set.
"In the second set I started moving better...I started to give confidence that I could comeback," the Romanian had said. But it was in the deciding set that she kept her consistency and dictated much of the points to win in a bagel 3-6, 6-4, 6-0.
At press conference time, the interviewer reminded Halep it was her 400 main draw career victory and she smiled surprisingly saying: "Wow, that's impressive. Thanks for letting me know." Halep's luck was brewing as she teamed up with Angelique Kerber in doubles to win the first round 7-5, 7-5.
But unfortunately things from there went downhill. "I'm very sorry I have to pull out of the singles and doubles at the Miami Open, but my injury doesn't let me play here as I expected," Halep regretfully said.
She had sustained the right shoulder injury after the opening rounds of the singles and doubles and was forced to have a walkover with her second round duel against Anastasija Sevastova. She also had to withdraw from the doubles match.
Halep admitted that in the previous tournament, the Australian Open, she did feel the painful shoulder during the second round with Alja Tomljanovic but when she entered Miami miraculously all of her pain had went away. She had used her time well to rehab the shoulder and yearn to get back on the court for the clay court season.
Simona Halep has a strong history especially at Roland Garros where in 2018 she won the title, 2019 she was in the quarterfinal and last year made it into the fourth round. She gets real about continuing on tour and showing a great performance.
Halep simply says that "I am focusing on my recovery. I want to be fit, play the match then to try everything I can to win it."