The third edition of the WTA Premier Zhengzhou Open will take place next week, with a solid field of players seeking good result right after the US Open. Karolina Pliskova should be the top seed ahead of Kiki Bertens and Elina Svitolina, with world no.
4 Simona Halep withdrawing with an ankle injury. After winning the second Major title at Wimbledon in great style, Simona lost the ground a little bit, losing in the quarter-final in Toronto and the third round in Cincinnati, hoping for a better result at the US Open which didn't happen.
The Romanian had to bow out in the second round against Taylor Townsend who prevailed in the deciding tie break with a valiant serve&volley tennis that took all the rhythm away from Halep. Also, Simona was forced to withdraw from the mixed doubles, unable to chase the crown with the compatriot Horia Tecau and deciding to take more rest ahead of Wuhan and Beijing.
Halep has played 14 WTA tournaments so far in 2019, losing early in Sydney and Melbourne before reaching the final in Doha and quarter-final in Dubai. Karolina Pliskova and Kiki Bertens halted the Romanian in the semi-final in Miami and final in Madrid, suffering early exits in Rome and Paris before that incredible Wimbledon run where she dropped just one set en route to the crown, including a one-sided 6-2, 6-2 triumph over Serena Williams in the title match.
"I'm disappointed to withdraw from the Zhengzhou Open as I was looking forward to playing in a new city for the first time," Halep said. "Unfortunately, I have been experiencing pain in my left ankle and my medical team has advised me it would be best not to play next week. I wish the tournament every success in its first year and hope to be back next year."