Simona Halep's second match of her season, and of her comeback from a doping suspension, ended like her first—but with one notable difference.

The 32-year-old won the first set but failed to advance, just as she did against Paula Badosa in Miami on March 19. The difference this time was the Romanian chose to stop playing in the second set after suffering an apparent knee injury against 123rd-ranked McCartney Kessler. The American won in a walkover, 5-7, 3-2.

The match took place on clay in Paris, at the Trophée Clarins, a WTA 125 tournament. Halep, ranked No 1,149 and a former Roland Garros champion, did not receive a wild card into the upcoming clay-court Slam.


After her Miami contest, Halep spoke with Tennis Channel's Jon Wertheim in Bucharest for an exclusive interview that can be seen here. The conversation included the two-time Grand Slam champion's thoughts on her time away from the tour, her successful appeal, and what's next.

"I'm older, of course, I have some titles behind, so I have experience and now I see more the pleasure for tennis," she said. "Of course it's going to be tough to get the rhythm back, but I enjoy more, which is I think the best thing right now for me."