Simona Halep has enjoyed an outstanding 2018 season, highlighted by her maiden Grand Slam title at the French Open, but a back injury which forced her to retire from her first-round match at the China Open could develop into a long-term problem.
The 27-year-old has spent 40 weeks in the top spot this year, the position solidified by her Shenzhen Open, Roland Garros and Rogers Cup titles, as well as her appearances in the finals of the Australian Open, Internazionali BNL d’Italia and the Western & Southern Open.
The Romanian is proudly finishing the year as No.1 for the second year in a row, on top of securing a place among the WTA Finals elite eight for the fifth consecutive year. However, even though she’s the only player who has qualified for Singapore for all the five stagings of the event, her participation is in serious doubt because of her herniated disk.
The pressure is on for Halep, as she’s putting her health front and center, but she would also like to play this week’s Kremlin Cup and the season-ending finale next week. Updating the media on the current state of her injury, Halep said:
It’s been very stressful, and I was worried every day because I was waiting to see how I feel every morning I wake up. […] I hope first to be able to play here (in Moscow) because … I have already 3-4 days getting ready for this tournament. But if I will not be able to play here, I’m very doubtful that I will be able to play in Singapore because it’s very fast.
On the other hand, Halep knows that injuries are an integral part of an athlete’s life and she’s not letting anything ruin her hard-earned reason for celebration.
I just want to be happy about what I’ve done and to enjoy the moment. For sure, it’s the best part.