'Sad to see': Tennis fans left shattered over Simona Halep drama

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Simona Halep, pictured here suffering a panic attack in a shock loss at the French Open.
Simona Halep suffered a panic attack in a shock loss at the French Open. Image: Getty

Tennis fans have been left gutted for Simona Halep after the former champion revealed she suffered a panic attack as she crashed out of the French Open on Wednesday.

The visibly distressed Romanian star slumped in her chair at the end of the first set and required the attention of the tournament doctor.

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Zheng Qinwen of China went on to win the match 2-6, 6-2, 6-1 in a major upset over the 2018 Roland Garros champion.

Speaking after the match, Halep made the sad revelation that she suffered a panic attack and couldn't recover.

"It was just a panic attack. I didn't know how to handle it, because I don't have it often," the two-time grand slam champion said.

"I was leading the match. I was playing well. I lost it. I couldn't focus.

"After the match, it was pretty tough. But now I'm good. I'm recovered, and I will learn from this episode.

"Nothing dangerous. The doctors checked everything. Everything was perfect."

It marked a major scalp for the unseeded Zhang, who previously lost to Halep in January.

It was arguably the biggest win of the Chinese teenager's career on her Roland Garros debut.

Simona Halep, pictured here congratulating Qinwen Zheng after their match at the French Open.
Simona Halep congratulated Qinwen Zheng after their match at the French Open. (Photo by Tnani Badreddine/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)

On her overall time at the French Open, Halep admitted she was happy to come through unscathed after a string of injuries in recent years.

"Tomorrow is a new day," she said.

"I know it's like a cliche, but it's a new day, and I'll wake up motivated to keep working.

"[I have] no injury, which is really good. Now I'm in a good place."

Nevertheless, fans and commentators were left gutted for Halep.

Massive upsets on dramatic day at French Open

Halep was the latest high-profile casualty at the French Open as big guns Danielle Collins and Jelena Ostapenko were also bundled out on Thursday.

American star Collins, the No.9 seed, won just seven games against her compatriot Shelby Rogers, losing 6-4 6-3.

Collins reached the final of the Australian Open earlier this year, where she was beaten by Ash Barty.

So swift has been the exit of the women's top seeds that only three of the top 10 remain - Iga Swiatek (No.1), Paula Badosa (No.3) and Aryna Sabalenka (No.7).

Ostapenko, the 2017 French Open champion, lost 6-0, 1-6, 6-3 against local favourite Alize Cornet.

Alize Cornetl, pictured here in action against Jelena Ostapenko at the French Open.
Alize Cornet in action against Jelena Ostapenko at the French Open. (Photo by THOMAS SAMSON/AFP via Getty Images)

The 32-year-old French player had plenty of support under the lights at Court Philippe Chatrier in the final match of the day.

Ostapenko made 48 unforced errors to Cornet's five. The veteran Cornet reached her first grand slam quarter-final at the Australian Open in January.

Elsewhere, World No.1 Swiatek brushed aside Alison Riske 6-0 6-2 to take her winning streak to 30 matches.

It is the longest winning run in women's tennis since Serena Williams won 34 on the trot in 2013.

Badosa reached the third round by beating Kaja Juvan of Slovenia 7-5 3-6 6-2, while Sabalenka needed just 62 minutes to beat Madison Brengle 6-1, 6-3.

Madison Keys justified her No.22 seeding with a 6-4 7-6 (3) win over Frenchwoman Caroline Garcia.

The American, a semi-finalist at Roland Garros in 2018, will next face the No.16 seed Elena Rybakina.

with agencies

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