Romanian Halep forfeits first-round match at China Open 2018

Romanian tennis player Simona Halep, world number one, on Sunday forfeited her first-round singles match at the 8,285,274-USD WTA China Open 2018 tournament in Beijing after her opponent Ons Jabeur of Tunisia won the first set 6-1.

Plagued by her back pains of late, Halep, 27, forfeited after 32 minutes.

A quite stiff Halep started the match poorly and was led 4-0 before winning the first game ball after her opponent double faulted in succession. Halep turned to coach Darren Cahill for advice at 0-3, and at 1-4 she requested medical attention in the locker room, but she did not get the relief she hoped for, so she had to withdraw after two more games.

Halep only got four points on her own service, none on second service.

Qualifier Jabeur, 24, world number 113, will face Croatian Donna Vekic, world number 40, in the second round.

Simona Halep is the 2017 singles runner-up in Beijing, with her performance helping her capture teh lead in the WTA rankings for the first time in his career.

This is Halep's four back-to-back defeats after losing the finals in Cincinnati, the first round at the US Open and the second round at Wuhan.

Two Romanians, Mihaela Buzarnescu and Sorana Cirstea, are still on the main draw in Beijing. Buzarnescu will play Belarusian Aliaksandra Sasnovich in the first round, and lucky loser Cirstea will face Dutch Kiki Bertens. AGERPRES (RO - editor: Mihai Tenea; EN - author: Corneliu-Aurelian Colceriu)

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