Simona Halep’s withdrawal follows her Australian Open quarter-final loss to Serena Williams.© TBEN
World number three Simona Halep has withdrawn from next week’s Qatar Open, organizers of the WTA event said on Tuesday. The Romanian withdrawal follows her Australian Open quarterfinal loss to Serena Williams. “Unfortunately I have decided to step down, I can’t wait to be back in Doha next year,” organizers said on Instagram.
She gave no reason for her absence from the tournament from March 1-6.
Missing Halep, the top seeds in Qatar are world number one Ashleigh Barty and Sofia Kenin, fourth in the world and winner of the Australian Open in 2020.
In Melbourne, Halep, 29, was thwarted by Williams in her bid for a first opening Grand Slam triumph of the year after failing to Caroline Wozniacki in the 2018 decision maker and losing in straight sets to Garbine Muguruza in semifinal of last year.
The 2018 Roland Garros champion and the 2019 Wimbledon winner’s seven-year streak in the top 10 is the longest active race in women.
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