Halep Learns Absolutely Brutal Draw For Her First Tournament After Lifted Doping Ban

Halep Learns Absolutely Brutal Draw For Her First Tournament After Lifted Doping Ban

by Erik Virostko

Simona Halep will return to competition at the 2024 Miami Open, but the draw wasn't really nice to her.

Saying the draw "wasn't nice to her" is likely understatement, as the draw at the Miami Open, which is the second WTA 1000 tournament of the Sunshine Double, was absolutely brutal to the Romanian player.

Halep returns to the competition after her doping ban was reduced to nine months, a period which has passed since she last played a competitive match, which was at the 2022 US Open.

It wasn't a surprise that the Miami Open tournament organizers immediately gave Halep a wild card, but to make good use of it, the 32-year-old will need to show her best tennis quite early on her comeback journey.

Already in the first round of the tournament, Halep will take on former world no. 2 and former Indian Wells Open champion Paula Badosa. However, the Spaniard has been struggling with injuries recently, so the former world no. 1 certainly has a chance to win this match.

Should she beat Badosa in the opening round, Halep's draw will get even more brutal. The current world no. 2, a two-time Grand Slam champion, and a former world no. 1, Aryna Sabalenka, awaits in the second round, well rested after a first-round bye.

As if that was not enough, in case of a second-round success, the Romanian player can meet yet another former world no. 1 in the third round, as Caroline Wozniacki is in the same part of the draw, but the Danish player would first need to beat Clara Burel and then Anhelina Kalinina.

In case of further success, in the fourth round, Halep could play against another former Grand Slam champion, Barbora Krejcikova, and from the quarter-finals, it's quite literally anyone that she could face.

From Qinwen Zheng in the quarter-finals to Elena Rybakina in the semi-finals and Iga Swiatek and Coco Gauff in the final.


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