Former world No. 1 Simona Halep admitted she was close to retiring after the 2021 season as she was unsure whether she could get back to her pre-injury level. Last year, a calf injury forced Halep to skip the French Open, Wimbledon and the Tokyo Olympics.
Missing three major events was a difficult pill to swallow for Halep and it put her in a bit of a dark place. After a challenging 2021 season, Halep started 2022 by winning the Melbourne Summer Set 1. This month, Halep announced Patrick Mouratoglou as her new full-time coach.
When discussing her decision to hire Mouratoglou, Halep noted it's because she wants to return to winning Grand Slams.
Halep: The fire inside me is back
“I thought at 30 I would be done and I was close to be done this year,” Halep told Alize Lim for Tennis Majors’ show “Major Talk”.
“Actually last year, as well, after the injury I had. At the beginning of the year (2022) I was a little bit better but still not very confident so I thought it may be the last period I could play tennis. “But then I discovered this academy, I discovered something, the fire is back in my inside for tennis.
Seeing the kids here doing everything possible to be at the top, I have it back. I needed that, to see in other people, in other kids, and I have it back”. Halep, who captured her maiden Grand Slam title at the 2018 French Open, is aiming to win her third Grand Slam title at Roland Garros this year.
“I didn’t believe I would come back at the same level after the injury, because I was off about four months,” she said. “I had never been off four months from tennis, so I struggled big time last year.
And also I thought at 30 it’s a good age to retire. I always thought about it but probably it was always in my mind. “I would really love to have kids but they can wait a bit more because I have this pleasure I don’t want to give up”.