Simona Halep, defending champion at the WTA Dubai Tennis Championships 2021, has withdrawn from the championships she has withdrawn from return with a back problem. Halep, who also retired from the Qatar Total Open, hasn't played a competitive match since she lost in two sets to Serena Williams in the 2021 Australian Open quarter-finals.
Halep, after Ashleigh Barty (with a leg injury) will therefore not play the tournament that will take place from 7 to 13 March in Dubai. In the event there will be other more stars of the WTA Tour.
Simona Halep pulls out of Dubai!
She said: "Unfortunately, I don't feel 100% in my lower back and have made the tough decision to retire from the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships 2021. I have very good memories of winning my 20th WTA title after some really tough games in Dubai last year, so I'm disappointed that I won't be able to defend my title."
At the Australian Open 2021, as seed no.2, she won against Lizette Cabrera 6-2, 6-1 in the first round, then against Ajla Tomljanović for 4-6, 6-4, 7-5, Veronika Kudermetova with the score of 6-1 6-3 and Iga Swiatek for 3-6 6-1 6-4, reaching the 100th win in a major.
Against Serena Williams, in the quarter-finals, she lost 3-6 3-6. Simona Halep has won a total of twenty-two WTA tournaments, including two Grand Slam events: the 2018 French Open and Wimbledon 2019. In the Slams she boasts three other finals, two of which also in Paris in 2014 and 2017, another at the Australian Open 2018, as well as three semifinals: at Wimbledon 2014, at the US Open 2015 and at the Australian Open 2020.
In 2014 she also reached the final of the year-end WTA Masters. From 2014, the year of her appearance in the top ten positions of the world ranking, to date, she has never left the top ten. She was the twenty-fifth player to reach the top of the world ranking and the twelfth to finish the season in that position twice, in 2017 and 2018.
After a domination that lasted almost a year, she sold the first position to Naomi Osaka. With an earnings of over $ 37 million, she is the fourth player to have earned the most from the prize pools offered by the Women's Tennis Association.