Nightmare draw for Simona Halep as return set for first time since Miami Open

Sunday, 12 May 2024 at 15:30
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Simona Halep will play in the Trophee Clarins next week in her first return since the Miami Open amidst multiple aborted tournaments inbetween. But she couldn't have got a worse draw than the top seed over the next week in France.
Halep who was due to play in Oeiras previously withdrew as well as the Billie Jean King Cup and Madrid Open owing to injuries and medical issues. But she was tactical unlike others and decided to play in the second week of Rome when it looked unlikely that she would get a wildcard.
She likely will still be embroiled in a bit of a fight to get to Roland Garros and if not will have to set her sights towards the grass court season. So it could very much be a one and done for Halep. She will face Emma Navarro though who is a top 25 player and top seed this next week if she reaches the second round.
Navarro aside from Danielle Collins' resurgence has been among the four best players from the US in the past year and is seemingly trying to hunt points down towards an Olympic spot with the cut off being mid June. As well as being recently injured so likely trying to get back into form.
She has signed up for multiple lower level tournaments of course pending her own progression through and she lost to Paula Badosa in Rome so is heading to France. But Halep has to face another rising American in McCartney Kessler who is heading towards the top 100 in the rankings. So not an easy route by any means. It is a draw that realistically could be at Rabat for instance next week with a lot of top names.
Katie Boulter will face her compatriot Harriet Dart. While Sloane Stephens could face Alize Cornet in her last ever tournaments. Zhu Lin, Diana Shnaider and Diane Parry among the other seeds. As returns get it can't be tougher for Halep.

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