Simona Halep admits she's disappointed not to open Centre Court action

Simona Halep admits she is disappointed not to open Centre Court action on day two of Wimbledon… with the honour set to go to world No 1 Iga Swiatek

  • Simona Halep is disappointed not to open Centre Court action on day two
  • The defending Champion is usually given the honour, but Ash Barty has retired 
  • Instead, world No 1 Iga Swiatek will open action when she faces Jana Fett 

Simona Halep has admitted her disappointment at not being given the chance to open the Centre Court action on day two.

The defending women’s champion is traditionally first up on the second day of the Championships, but Ash Barty’s retirement left that slot vacant. With Halep having won the title in 2019, the prevailing view was that she should be Barty’s replacement, allowing her the chance she missed out on in 2020 due to Covid and last year because of injury.

But on Saturday Wimbledon announced that the honour would instead fall to world No 1 Iga Swiatek. 

Simona Halep has admitted she’s disappointed not to open action on Centre Court on day two

The honour will fall to world No 1 Iga Swiatek (pictured), who will take on Croatian Jana Fett 

Asked on Sunday if she was upset by that decision, the Romanian replied: ‘Upset is too much to say. But I can say I feel sad that I missed it because I was injured.

‘It would have been very nice to open the tournament. But my chance is gone.. Probably in this life I can have another chance.’

That last comment hints at a competitive urge which Halep has only recently rediscovered. After an injury-blighted 2021 the 30-year-old considered retiring. 

On Sunday she talked about how a trip to France reignited her passion and led to her appointing Patrick Mouratoglou, Serena Williams’ former coach.

Halep has reignited her passion and she recently appointed Patrick Mouratoglou (left)

‘I was pretty down,’ she said. ‘I was exhausted. I didn’t believe I could be in the top again. But then I went to (Mouratoglou’s) academy without thinking that I might work with him because he was with Serena.

‘But the vibe of the academy – all the kids that were there at 8 a.m. on the court, their desire to be one day a champion – got the fire back that I still can play tennis, and I still love it.

‘That’s why I’m here today, because of going to the academy, because of meeting Patrick, who told me that he really believes I can go back to the top.’

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