WATCH: 'Feels Like I Never Left': Halep Hits Practice Court Ahead Of First Match After Ban

WATCH: 'Feels Like I Never Left': Halep Hits Practice Court Ahead Of First Match After Ban

by Erik Virostko

Simona Halep will compete at the 2024 Miami Open, and she's already in the tournament venue preparing for the event.

The Romanian last played at the 2022 US Open in August, almost two years ago. Now, more than 18 months later, she's returning to the sport after a very hectic period of her professional life.

After being banned from the sport in September last year for a period of four years, the Romanian started a long fight to clear her name, and while ITIA found her guilty, she appealed the case at the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS).

CAS reduced her ban to nine months, making her eligible to return to competition immediately. This was only a few days before the first tournament of the Sunshine Double, the Indian Wells Open.

However, since the draw for that event was already finalized at the time, she couldn't make her return at that WTA 1000 tournament, but the following event, the Miami Open, came with a wild card invitation for the former world no. 1.

The 32-year-old didn't hesitate for a second, accepting the wild card for what will be her first tournament in more than 18 months since being banned from professional tennis.

Not getting to play the Indian Wells Open, Halep now has an edge over the competition, coming to the Hard Rock Stadium, the venue for the tournament in Miami Gardens, Florida, United States, much earlier than the rest of the field.

She even got to hit on the court already, sharing a video with her fans on social media while adding a caption stating that she feels like she never left.

"Feels like I never left. First day back, thank you, Miami Open."

Halep's comeback will be certainly challenging, as she's been away from the sport for a very long period. As the comebacks of Naomi Osaka, Emma Raducanu, Caroline Wozniacki, and Angelique Kerber showed, it's a difficult path to follow.


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