Simona Halep learns first-round opponent at WTA 125 Trophée Clarins

Halep set to start her clay season at a French WTA 125 tournament.

by Dzevad Mesic
Simona Halep learns first-round opponent at WTA 125 Trophée Clarins
© Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

Former world No. 1 Simona Halep has learned her opening opponent at a WTA 125 tournament in France as the two-time Grand Slam champion is set to take on world No. 123 McCartney Kessler in the Trophée Clarins first round. 

After playing her first tournament in a year and a half at the Miami Open in late March, Halep sustained an unfortunate knee issue and was forced to skip a WTA 125 tournament in Oeiras and also a WTA 1000 tournament in Madrid. For both of those tournaments, Halep was granted a wildcard.

Following Halep's withdrawals in Oeiras in Madrid, the hope was that the former world No. 1 could return to action at the Rome Open. But Halep surprisingly didn't receive a main draw wildcard. A few days after it was revealed that Halep wouldn't receive a Rome wildcard, it was announced that the Romanian accepted a wildcard from a WTA 125 tournament in Trophée Clarins.

Simona Halep
Simona Halep © Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

Who is Halep's opponent Kessler? 

When Halep meets 24-year-old Kessler in the Trophée Clarins first round, it will be their first meeting. 

Kessler, who achieved a career-high ranking of No. 119 in April, won her first ITF title last year and she also won another ITF title at the start of this season. After winning two ITF titles, Kessler also won her first WTA 125 title in Puerto Valarta in late February.

When it comes to the main level, Kessler has appeared in three main-level tournaments this year. At the start of the year, Kessler made her Australian Open debut and won a match before losing to Linda Noskova in the second round.

McCartney Kessler
McCartney Kessler© Getty Images Sport - Phil Walter

Two months later, Kessler also made her Indian Wells debut but didn't make it far since she was beaten by Nuria Parrizas Diaz in the first round. In early April, Kessler also played at a WTA 500 tournament in Charleston - she was ousted by Caroline Wozniacki in the first round there.

Although Kessler has had some solid results this year, clay is a surface that suits much better Halep's game and the 2018 French Open champion definitely enters the match as the favorite.

Simona Halep