Simona Halep, the defending champion in women’s singles at Wimbledon, announced on Friday that she has withdrawn from this year’s tournament due to an injury. Halep, the No. 3-ranked player in the world, attributed her withdrawal to a calf injury suffered last month at the Italian Open.
Halep’s withdrawal marks the second-straight major she has missed due to her injury, as she was also forced to withdraw from the French Open. Halep’s withdrawal from Wimbledon is especially significant, as she won the women’s singles championship the last time the tournament was held in 2019, becoming the first Romanian to do so.
“I gave it everything I had in order to be ready to play Wimbledon and after having such special memories from 2 years ago, I was excited and honored to step back on these beautiful courts as defending champion,” Halep wrote on Instagram. “Unfortunately, my body didn’t cooperate and I’ll have to save that feeling for next year.
“I can honestly say that I’m really down and upset about having to take this decision. This period has been difficult but to miss the last two Majors has made it even more challenging mentally and physically. We will see what the future holds but I’m hoping it will make me a stronger person and athlete.”
Halep’s withdrawal from Wimbledon marks the second notable withdrawal in women’s competition, as No. 2-ranked Naomi Osaka withdrew from the tournament earlier this month amid her ongoing issues with anxiety and depression. The men’s side of the tournament has also seen a notable withdrawal. Rafael Nadal announced his withdrawal from both Wimbledon and the Tokyo Olympics last week.
The absence of both Halep and Osaka is to the benefit of Belarus’ Aryna Sabalenka, as she will climb to the No. 2 seed behind No. 1-ranked Ash Barty.