Simona Halep Indian Wells 2021

‘I have a few more years’ – Simona Halep dismisses retirement and aims for top ten return

Simona Halep still feels “good enough to compete” and has set her sights on a return to the top ten after an injury-riddled 2021 season.

Two-time Grand Slam champion Halep was forced to miss the French Open, Wimbledon and the rescheduled 2020 Tokyo Olympics last year when she suffered a calf injury at the Italian Open in Rome.

As a result, her impressive streak of 373 consecutive weeks in the WTA top ten came to an end. This streak in the top ten is the eighth-longest in Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) history.

Romanian number one Halep begins the 2022 season ranked 20th in the world rankings, but is hoping for a better season as she aims to return to the top ten.

In preparation for the upcoming Australian Open, Halep has been training with fellow two-time Slam winner and current World number one Ashleigh Barty.

Ahead of the Melbourne Summer Set, Halep told reporters “in practice I’m really good. I win some sets. I practice more than normal. I can stay two hours a day on the court, which was not easy in the past.

“[I am aiming] to get back to the Top ten. This is the main goal and this is actually the only one goal. But everything that comes along with it is a bonus and we will see. But the focus is to get back to the Top ten.

“I thought about it [my career] being close to the end, but honestly after this pre-season and how I feel right now at the tournament, I feel like I have a few more years to play.

“My team says I’m still good enough to go there and compete, so I’m not thinking about retirement yet. I just want to enjoy and give my best because I know there is another chance.

“[I am motivated] to see how good I can still be, to see how much I can still win. I’m motivated to just try my best every day. I still enjoy tennis and the competition. I still want more and more from myself.”

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Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.