Simona Halep and Garbine Muguruza have withdrawn from the 2019 WTA Stuttgart Open because of injury problems.
Second-ranked Halep has failed to recovered from a hip injury she suffered during the Fed Cup. She had played in all three matches during her country’s Fed Cup tie against France but the left hip problem has caused her to opt out of some valuable clay court practice in the lead-up to the French Open.
The injury came in her Fed Cup tie against Caroline Garcia when she took a fall and felt pain in her hip.
She added her decision to withdraw from Stuttgart Open was because she did not feel 100% fit and in that case, she wanted to avoid playing. Halep also admitted one of the other reasons for her decision was because she was mentally exhausted after giving the Fed Cup tie her all despite the defeat to France.
“It feels bad because I gave everything – I really wanted to win the Fed Cup. I’ve been very sad the last two days. I’ve been through these moments many times, so I know how to handle it. I just need to recover mentally and physically and then just start again.”
What the second-ranked defending French Open champion also said was her physical injury was exacerbated by her mental state – a feeling of being emotionally flat following the defeat in Fed Cup.
Also withdrawing from the tournament is the Spaniard Muguruza, following an illness. The 2016 French Open winner will now look to get down to clay court business in the next couple of weeks.
Angelique Kerber will now be the second seed in the tournament and Victoria Azarenka, who was expected to take on Muguruza in round one, will now play lucky loser Vera Zvonareva in her opener. Donna Vekic faces Giulia Gatto-Monticone in her first round match.