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Simona Halep

Defending champion Simona Halep has withdrawn from next week’s Dubai Tennis Championships with a lower back complaint. She confirmed this on her twitter.

Halep last played a competitive match in the Australian Open quarter-final, where she lost to Serena Williams. Since then, due to injuries, also pulled out of this week’s Qatar Open in Doha.

Halep won the 2020 Dubai Championships but won’t be able to defend her title

Unfortunately I am not feeling 100% in my lower back, and I have made the tough decision to withdraw from the 2021 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships,” the 29-year-old Romanian, who also won the Dubai event in 2015, said in a statement on twitter.

“I have great memories from winning my 20th WTA title after some really tough matches in Dubai last year so I’m disappointed that I won’t be able to defend my title.”

“Wishing the @DubaiDutyFree team and everyone involved a successful tournament and I can’t wait to be back next year”, she concluded.

Halep follows world no.1 Ash Barty, who is recovering from a leg injury, in skipping the Dubai event, which runs from March 7-13.

Also read: It’s about how I live my life both on and off the court: Naomi Osaka on being a role-model

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