Defending champion Halep withdraws from Wimbledon due to injury

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Reigning women’s singles champion Simona Halep has announced her withdrawal from this year’s championships due to a calf injury, the All-England Club announced on Friday.

The 29-year- Halep won the 2019 title and seeded second this year, with last year’s tournament having been canceled due the pandemic.

The Romanian retired from the second round in last month’s Italian Open and has not competed since.

“It is with great sadness that I’m announcing my withdrawal from the Championships as my calf has not fully recovered,” said Halep.

“I honestly say that I’m really down and upset about having to take this decision.

“This period has been difficult but to miss the last two majors has made it even more challenging mentally and physically,” said the current world number three, who also missed this year’s French Open.

Earlier this month, Japan’s Naomi Osaka also announced her withdrawal from this year’s Wimbledon.

The women’s singles world number two had also withdrawn from this year’s French Open, citing issues.

In the men’s singles, 20-time Grand Slam winner Rafael also decided to skip as well as the Tokyo Olympic Games.

Open champion Dominic Thiem has pulled out of the tournament in London with a wrist injury.