'Absolutely gutted': Tennis fans devastated over Simona Halep news

Pictured here, Simona Halep hobbles off the court at the Italian Open.
Simona Halep's injury throws her French Open hopes into disarray. Pic: WTA

Simona Halep's French Open hopes have been dealt a crushing blow after a horrible incident in her Italian Open match against second-round match against Angelique Kerber.

While World No.1 Ash Barty continued her incredible form to make the third round, it was a day of carnage for a number of her biggest rivals.

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The biggest blow saw Halep hobble off the court in Rome while leading 6-1 3-3 against Kerber after tearing a calf muscle in her left leg.

Third seed Halep was leading 6-1 3-3 when she showed discomfort while trying to reach a first serve from her German opponent.

Halep massaged her left calf before hobbling to her bench, where she received treatment from a physio.

Kerber showed her class and genuine concern for her stricken rival as she sat next to Halep and tried to comfort the Romanian.

Unable to move, she then decided to withdraw from the match and needed assistance to get off the court, causing doubt over whether she would be fit in time for the French Open, which begins on May 30.

The 2018 French Open champion - whose prospects at Roland Garros now look grim - confirmed the devastating news on social media a short time later, leaving fans shattered for the 29-year-old.

"I will get an MRI tomorrow to understand the injury in more detail, but at the moment we are unsure of recovery time," Halep said.

"I'm so disappointed to end my tournament in Rome like this but I will do everything I can to take care of the injury and be back as soon as possible."

Big guns fall on chaotic day

Kerber will next face another former French Open winner, Latvia's Jelena Ostapenko, who beat Australian Ajla Tomljanovic on Wednesday, in the round of 16.

Fellow heavyweights Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka also crashed out of the Italian Open at the first hurdle, robbing fans of a potential fourth-round showdown between the pair.

Osaka's clay court misery continued on Wednesday in a 7-6 (7/2), 6-2 loss to American Jessica Pegula.

The four-time grand slam winner, seeded second in Rome, had received a first-round bye but was unable to find her way back into the match after losing the first-set tie-break to her 31st-ranked opponent.

Naomi Osaka is seen here looking frustrated at the Italian Open.
Naomi Osaka's clay court misery continued in Rome. Pic: Getty

Osaka was playing just her third tournament since winning the Australian Open in February, and also exited in the second round in Madrid earlier this month.

The reigning US Open champion has seven career hard-court titles but has never managed to lift a clay-court trophy.

Just hours later, Williams also crashed out with a second round defeat to Argentina's Nadia Podoroska, weeks before her bid to make history at Roland Garros.

Playing the 1000th WTA match of her career and first since the Australian Open, the 39-year-old lost 7-6 (8/6), 7-5 to a player 15 years her junior who was a surprise semi-finalist at last year's Roland Garros.

with agencies

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