Simona Halep withdraws from Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships due to surgery

World No 2 Simona Halep has withdrawn from the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship to undergo surgery.

Simona Halep has been battling injuries during the start of the 2016 season. Saeed Khan / AFP
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World No 2 Simona Halep has withdrawn from the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships to undergo surgery.

Halep, 22, has been battling with fitness issues throughout the start of the 2016 season, and was eliminated from the second round of the Australian Open by qualifier Zhang Shuai.

Halep’s decision to have surgery means she will miss not only the Dubai tournament, but next week’s Fed Cup match for Romania against the Czech Republic and the Qatar Total Open.

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“The last six weeks have been extremely difficult for me, as I’ve been dealing with infections in my stomach, nose and ear,” Halep said in a post on her Facebook page. “This has been one of my most frustrating periods, as I’ve not been able to train or stay healthy even though I’ve constantly been on antibiotics to help clear the infections.

“I gave it my best shot in Australia but, with the infections still in my body, unfortunately I made things worse, as I pushed myself to compete and fight in a grand slam.”

Despite the absence of Halep, the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship will be able to boast a stellar line-up, including world No 1 Serena Williams, world No 3 Garbine Muguruza, and world No 5 Agnieszka Radwanska. Angelique Kerber, the world No 7, Lucie Safarova (No 9) and former world No 1s Ana Ivanovic and Carloine Wozniacki will also be competing in the event, taking place February 15-27.

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