Halep Handed Tough Draw On Return To Action At WTA 125 Tournament in Paris

Halep Handed Tough Draw On Return To Action At WTA 125 Tournament in Paris

by Nurein Ahmed

Simona Halep is set to compete at this week's Trophee Clarins in Paris, France, and she has learned the identity of her first-round opponent and her projected draw.

The Trophee Clarins is a WTA 125K tournament commemorating its second edition, which begins on May 13th. A number of top-ranked WTA stars are set to headline this event in their quest to refine their game and gain additional court time before Roland Garros.

Halep, who returned to tennis after serving a doping suspension a year ago, played her first tournament of the season in Miami. She lost in the first round to Paula Badosa in three sets.

She was unranked at the time because of her inactivity and is relying on wild cards to play tennis tournaments again. As it stands, Halep is waiting to hear if she will get one for Roland Garros, which starts on May 26th.

Initially, she was scheduled to compete in Oeiras and then Madrid on clay but opted not to, citing the need to ease her body into competition and not rush things.

Halep also missed Romania's Billie Jean King Cup qualifying win against Ukraine last month but could be recalled for the Finals. With a four-digit ranking, Halep relied on a wild card to play at this week's tournament and is set to face World No. 123 McCartney Kessler in the first round.

The 32-year-old can certainly count on her experience against the 24-year-old American, who has lost her last three matches. But Halep could face a tough test immediately after, where she is likely to play top seed and World No. 22 Emma Navarro in the second round.

Halep's half of the draw is loaded with some serious talent and big-match experience. Spain's Cristina Buca is a potential quarterfinal opponent, while 2017 US Open champion Sloane Stephens has signed up for the tournament and could meet Halep in the semifinal.


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