Wimbledon: Injured defending champion Halep ruled out

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Halep has been out of action since she was helped off the court after suffering a tear of her left calf during a match against Angelique Kerber in Rome last month.

The two-time grand slam champion had hoped to be fit to defend her title at the All England Club after travelling to London, but pulled out just three days before the tournament gets under way.

“It is with great sadness that I’m announcing my withdrawal from The Championships as my calf injury has not fully recovered,” said the 29-year-old Romanian, who also missed the French Open.

“I gave it everything I had in order to be ready to play Wimbledon and after having such special memories from two years ago, I was excited and honoured to step back on these beautiful courts as defending champion.

“Unfortunately, my body didn’t cooperate and I’ll have to save that feeling for next year.

“I can 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.

“We will see what the future holds but I’m hoping it will make me a stronger person and athlete.

“Thank you to everyone at Wimbledon for your understanding and support.”

Halep won her first Wimbledon title two years ago, outclassing Serena Williams 6-2 6-2 on Centre Court.

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