Can Simona Halep Recover?

AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File

Can Simona Halep Recover?

As many fans know, Simona Halep has been provisionally suspended from the WTA for testing positive for a banned substance. Since the news broke, the tennis world has given Halep unconditional support. Simona is well liked on the tour and has earned lots of respect as a gritty competitor. Of course, Simona does is adamant about her innocence and does not condone any sort of cheating. Luckily for Simona, there seems to have been a breakthrough in her favor towards clearing her name. The culprit is said to have been identified. The banned substance is said to have been ingested through a particular food unbeknownst to Simona. If that is indeed the case, then we can expect to see Simona on the WTA tour very soon. I for one, am hopeful her name will be cleared. As a years long fan there’s nothing more I’d like to see in 2023 than a healthy Simona kicking some major butt on tour.  Let’s assume she is cleared. What’s her 2023 going to be like? Here’s a few scenarios:

– Simona is as mentally strong as anyone. This could only be a blip on her radar. Also, let’s not forget that Simona was invigorated towards the end of last year, helped by the partnership with Patrick Mouratoglou. She could tear things up in 2023 and finish number 1.

– Another scenario is that it takes her a bit of time to recover and struggles to get back in the groove. She ultimately gets back into the top 10 by year’s end but is a shadow of the player that was winning and contending for Grand Slams year in and year out. Think Petra Kvitova.

– The third scenario is that there is no recovery from this from both an emotional and personal standpoint. Simona is 31 years old, which is ancient in tennis terms. Very few women not named Serena Williams have managed to win slams at that age. Add that the layoff that she’s endured in order to clear her name and the mountain to the top of tennis may be a challenge too big even to Simona.

What do I think will happen? I think it will be somewhere in the middle. I think she’ll end up being more of a Kvitova than an Azarenka. 


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