'So sad': Tennis fans left shattered over Simona Halep news

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Simona Halep, pictured here after losing to Anett Kontaveit in the final of the Transylvania Open.
Simona Halep speaks after losing to Anett Kontaveit in the final of the Transylvania Open. (Photo by Flaviu Buboi/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Tennis fans have been left devastated after Simona Halep withdraw from the Linz Open on Thursday with a knee injury.

The second seed had advanced to the semi-finals of the WTA event in Austria, but was forced to withdraw after suffering the injury against Jasmine Paolini in the quarters.

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"Unfortunately I am not able to play in my semi-final after injuring my knee in my match yesterday," the two-time grand slam champion wrote on Twitter.

"I would do anything to be able to play, but it is swollen and painful and playing will only make it worse. 

"I want to say a huge thank you to the tournament and fans at the Upper Austria Ladies Linz for a fantastic week. I hope to be back!"

It comes as a bitter blow for the Romanian, who was only playing her seventh tournament in the past six months because of a calf injury sustained earlier in the year.

This will be the first year since 2013 that the 30-year-old hasn't won at least one WTA title.

Halep was forced to miss the French Open and Wimbledon, as well as the Tokyo Olympics, after tearing her calf in the lead-up to Roland Garros.

She only returned to the WTA tour in August ahead of the US Open, but will now be forced to spend more time on the sidelines.

Fans took to social media to express their sadness and wish Halep a speedy recovery.

Pliskova and Konteveit open with wins at WTA Finals

Halep's injury layoff has seen her drop from World No.2, right down to 22nd in the rankings.

She is one of a number of stars missing from the year-ending WTA Finals event, along with Ash Barty, Naomi Osaka and Serena Williams.

On Wednesday, Karolina Pliskova overcame a slow start before beating Garbiñe Muguruza 4-6, 6-2, 7-6 (6) in her opening match at the WTA Finals.

In a contest between two former World No.1s, the third-seeded Pliskova struggled early adjusting to the nearly 5000-feet altitude of Guadalajara, Mexico's second largest city.

Simona Halep, pictured here in action in the WTA Upper Austria Ladies Linz quarter-finals.
Simona Halep in action in the WTA Upper Austria Ladies Linz quarter-finals. (Photo by Alexander Scheuber/Getty Images for matchmaker)

“The first set was not the best from me. The serve was amazing in the second set, many free points on the first serve," Pliskova said.

“Then it was a fighting third set. I thought I just had too many chances, didn’t make it really, but happy it went my way in the end.”

Pliskova is playing the WTA Finals for the fifth time, having reached the semi-finals in 2018 and 2019. The 2020 tournament was cancelled because of the pandemic.

Earlier, Anett Kontaveit extended her hot streak to 11 consecutive victories with a 6-3, 6-4 win over second-seeded Barbora Krejcikova.

Kontaveit has won 27 of her last 29 matches, which include her title run at Ostrava where she beat Paula Badosa and Maria Sakkari, both of whom are competing here.

“I’ve been in sort of top 30 for a lot of years,” Kontaveit said. 

“During the summer I was on a bit of a losing streak, then I started working with Dmitry (Tursunov) and was really hoping to get a few wins. 

"I managed to win Cleveland, then it just sort of started rolling from there”.

with agencies

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