Halep was found guilty of a couple of doping offences and subsequently was handed a four-year ban after the tribunal deemed she was "likely doping." That means, that the Romanian won't be able to compete on the WTA Tour until October 2026, making it very likely that her career is over.
Although it has not been confirmed that Williams' latest post on social media had any correlation or had anything to do with Halep's four-year ban, the timing of Williams' tweet suggests she could very well be highlighting the 2019 Wimbledon final loss to Halep, which prevented her from winning her eighth Wimbledon title.
Williams posted on X merely minutes after the Halep news broke.
"8 is a better number."
On that day, Halep was sensational, staying so steady from the baseline, using her flat backhand to create some spells of her own offence and she was doing a particularly relentless job at really exploiting Williams' fading mobility.
Williams couldn't quite get that much out of her serve that day and was being manoeuvred around all too easily, as Halep bypassed her opponent's greater firepower quite well.
It remains to be seen whether Halep will get any of her Grand Slam titles taken away from her, but she will certainly be concerned about the process of appeal going forward.
She had fading hopes that she could spark an unlikely return to the tour at some point during the US Hard Court series, but now it is unlikely that we will see Halep compete for the next four years. That is unless she succeeds with her subsequent appeal.
If the four-year ban stays in place, Halep will not be able to make a return to action until October 2026, when she will be 35. Ultimately it leaves her with very little time to right the wrongs of the last twelve months.