Halep Winners Open

World No. 10 Simona Halep may not be competing this week, but that’s not stopping her from lending her support.

The 29-year-old was a spectator at the Winners Open in Cluj on Monday to cheer on her fellow Romanians at their home tournament. A relaxed Halep sported a big smile as she walked around and took in the tennis, later getting her hair and nails done on-site.


The two-time Grand Slam champion watched compatriot Evelyne Christelle Atticia Tiron face Lara Arruabarrena in the first round. Tiron fell in straight sets, but Romania still has a strong presence at the WTA 250. Irina Bara, Ana Bogdan, and Mihaela Buzarnescu are just a few of the players representing their country on home turf.

When Halep isn’t supporting her friends on court, she’s spending her time recovering and training to get back in on the action. On May 12, Halep retired in the second set of her second-round match with Angelique Kerber in Rome due to a calf injury. The setback forced her to miss Roland Garros, her Wimbledon title defense and the Olympics. It was a heartbreaking turn in Halep’s 2021 season, but she’s on the come up heading into the North American hard-court swing.

The two-time National Bank Open champion will be returning to competition in Montreal for the first time since 2018, when she won her second title there. Halep has accepted a main draw wild card and made an enthusiastic statement ahead of her ninth career appearance.

“I’ve been working hard to prepare for the North American swing so I’m excited to accept this wild card from the Omnium Banque Nationale,” she said. “The fans in Montréal always create a great atmosphere so I’m happy to hear we will have support from the stands.”