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Tennis Legends: Defending champion Halep reacts to Wimbledon cancellation

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Simona Halep celebrating her Wimbledon triumph in 2019

Image credit: Getty Images

ByDan Quarrell
03/04/2020 at 21:52 | Updated 04/04/2020 at 11:53
@Dan_Eurosport

Speaking on Eurosport's Tennis Legends vodcast, defending Wimbledon champion Simona Halep gave her reaction to the cancellation of the tournament this summer.

The world number two had been due to defend her title at SW19 before the entire grass-court season had to be cancelled due to the coronavirus crisis.

Speaking with Tennis Legends presenter Mats Wilander, Legends partner Boris Becker and Indian Wells tournament director and former star Tommy Haas, Halep gave her response to how the pandemic has been affecting the tennis calendar.

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"It’s a world problem and I just want to say that it’s safer that everything got cancelled," Halep said on the Tennis Legends vodcast.

"It’s not a small problem, it’s a huge problem. We just have to listen to what they [experts] say, to stay home and be very safe.

Tennis Legends Special: Simona Halep reacts to Wimbledon cancellation

00:30:07

"Tennis is not everything in my life. Of course, I had so many years where it’s been a priority and it still is. I am doing everything possible to stay fit, to very quickly get back into rhythm when everything is going to start again.

I prefer to stay home, to wait and see and when everything is safe, I will start travelling again. But if I am not a 100 per cent safe, I am not going to leave home, so everything that has been decided already - it’s perfect for me. Even if I miss tournaments, it’s better to stay safe and to take these decisions.

Halep did concede that it is disappointing to miss defending her Wimbledon title this year, but put a positive spin on the situation.

"I take it positively because I will now be the defending champion for two years, so I can live with that for one more year," she said.

"I am excited that I will be able to play the first match on Tuesday [in 2021] I think on Centre Court. So, I really want to have this experience. It’s going to be great for sure.

Halep said she is concerned that there will be no tennis beyond the grass-court season, but admitted that in some ways she will actually be grateful for the break after years on the WTA Tour circuit.

"In my opinion it’s going to be longer than July," she said. "We hope for the US Open, but we can't be sure because New York is struggling now.

I know that the worst scenario in my head is that this year is going to be cancelled, and yes I am sure we are going to overcome this period if we listen and stay home safely. But for the moment, yes, I think it’s going to be longer than July.

"I don’t really know how it’s going to be after having no tournaments for so many months. We’ve never been in this situation before, so I think it’s going to be new for everybody. I will struggle for sure. I will struggle to get back into my rhythm.

Tennis Legends: Halep reveals home routines and 'struggles' in lockdown

00:04:17

"It’s the longest period that I haven’t touched a racket - not a ball, not a racket - and I want to keep it that way for one more month. I think I need it after so many years."

Tennis Legends is coming soon to Eurosport 1 - but for those who can’t wait, enjoy the above vodcast, and make sure you stay tuned to Eurosport for more from Simona and co when the new series launches later this month...

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TennisWimbledonSimona Halep
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