Simona Halep withdrew from the WTA Finals in Singapore. The place of the Romanian will be taken by Kiki Bertens, #9 WTA. Halep could not even participate at the Kremlin Cup, even if she went to the Russian capital.
Because of the health problems generated by the herniated disk, Halep has not achieved any significant performance after the final lost in Cincinnati. The disk hernia is a very serious injury, the risk of being unable to play at all is quite high in case of surgery. For the time being, Halep said surgery is out of the question and everything can be resolved by physiotherapy. Even so, playing with a herniated disc, however minor, is an extra pressure. It’s hard to predict how Halep will evolve in the 2019 season.
In Singapore, Simona said: “It was a tough decision, of course. It is always difficult to withdraw from a big tournament. In fact, I think it’s the first time in my life. So it was a difficult decision, but it’s better for my health. Darren agreed 100%, because he was worried about my back and it’s better to put your health first, always. He has always said that since we started. When I heard he agreed with it, it made it easier for me to make the decision. My back is not OK, I have not been training in the last four weeks. I’m not ready to compete at this level, my back is still inflamed. It is not easy to go on the field and play at this moment”
Halep will finish the year as # 1 WTA, but in January she has to defend the Shenzhen title and the Australian Open final, a very difficult route.