Fans Left Wanting As Halep Exits Linz Open

Elizabeth Wagner - 15 Nov 2021

After a 2021 season plagued by injuries, tennis world No. 22 Simona Halep will have had her hopes pinned on claiming her first title for the year at the recently concluded Linz Open in Austria.

Fans were however gutted when the two-time Grand Slam champion was forced to retire early from the tournament resulting from a knee injury sustained during her gruelling quarter-finals encounter opposite Italy's Jasmine Paolini. Even though the Romanian beat her opponent 4-7, 7-5, 6-0, thereby booking her place opposite Jaqueline Cristian for battling it out for a place in the final, the injury had left Halep's knee swollen and out of action for the foreseeable future.

After Thursday's untimely exit, Halep wrote on Twitter how she would be willing to do just about anything to play in the semi-final of the event, but that doing so would only worsen the injury.

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A Year Lost To Injury

It all started going downhill for Halep at the Italian Open in May. At the time facing Angelique Kerber in the second round of the competition, Halep was forced to call time prematurely on the match and retire early because of an injury that would ultimately end up leaving her side-lined for nearly three months.

Even more disappointing for fans was that it rendered her unable to defend her 2019 Wimbledon title.

And while the Romanian only managed to make a return to the WTA tour in August, chances are she'll now be spending the rest of the season on the side-lines.

Halep's Nature A Local Hit

But despite the disappointment caused by her early exit from the Linz Open, a tournament Halep last competed in back in 2012, locals were impressed by the Grand Slam champion's simple and down-to-earth nature.

Instead of travelling into Austria on a private jet, Halep and her team made the trip by train.

That locals were talking about her preferred mode of travel surprise Halep, who said taking the train wasn't at all anything out of the ordinary for her. She's but a normal person who enjoys doing normal things and keeping her career separate from everyday life, said the star in reaction to everybody's surprise.

Halep added that she enjoyed taking the train whenever she could and that she found this to be a fun and enjoyable experience.

The 30-year-old is very much the exception in this regard. Most top tennis players tend to prefer travelling by private jet.

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