Stuttgart Open 2019: Simona Halep pulls out of WTA tournament after picking up hip injury on FedCup duty

Agence France-Presse
Halep was scheduled to play her first match on Wednesday as part of a star-studded line-up which includes world number one Naomi Osaka and reigning Wimbledon champion Angelique Kerber

Berlin: World number two Simona Halep has pulled out of this week's WTA tournament in Stuttgart with a hip injury.

Halep was scheduled to play her first match on Wednesday as part of a star-studded line-up which includes world number one Naomi Osaka and reigning Wimbledon champion Angelique Kerber.

However, the Romanian, who missed the end of last season with a back injury, announced her withdrawal on Tuesday after hurting her hip during a Fed Cup match against France's Caroline Garcia last weekend.

"It was against Garcia in the first set, when I fell down. I felt pain in the hip. If I'm not 100 percent, I don't want to step on the court. That's why I decided to pull out, because I have to think about my health first," Halep said.

The 27-year-old, who has only played on clay in the Fed Cup so far this season, will now aim to return in time to play in Madrid and Rome next month as she gears up for her French Open title defence.

Halep ended her long wait for a maiden Grand Slam trophy last year at Roland Garros, with the 2019 tournament to start on 26 May.

"I'm flat emotionally after the Fed Cup and physically I have some problems. The hip has to recover quickly for the clay (season) because the game is very physical," she said.

Also See: Tennis Rankings: Novak Djokovic heads into clay season on top; Naomi Osaka maintains narrow lead over Simona Halep for WTA No 1

Fed Cup 2019: Former foes Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic unite to lead France into final against Australia

Fed Cup 2019: Simona Halep aims to lead Romania to first-ever final; Ashleigh Barty, Victoria Azarenka set for reunion

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