Simona Halep's clay-court campaign took a serious hit when the former Roland Garros champion was forced to retire from her opening match at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia due to what was later revealed to be a calf tear.

"Unfortunately an ultrasound has revealed that I have a tear in my left calf," Halep revealed on social media. "I will get an MRI tomorrow to understand the injury in more detail, but at the moment we are unsure of recovery time. I’m so disappointed to end my tournament in Rome like this."

"I will do everything I can to take care of the injury and be back as soon as possible. Thanks so much for your support and I’ll keep you posted on my progress."

Halep triumphed in Rome last fall, but while leading fellow former world No. 1 Angelique Kerber, 6-1, 3-3, the Romanian jumped to return serve and began feeling a sharp pain in the upper calf.

Kerber assisted the trainer in helping to provide comfort to Halep, who appeared at a loss for the source of the pain.

"Is it broken?" she asked repeatedly before shaking Kerber's hand to officially forfeit the match.

Halep began the clay-court season fresh from rehabbing a right shoulder injury that took her out of the Miami Open, and aimed to peak on what has historically been her best surface.

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A semifinal run at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix seemingly put her in good stead, and though she took a third-round defeat at the Mutua Madrid Open, Halep appeared on song against Kerber early on, leading by a set and a break.

"I was focusing more on my service game, because I start to play better in the second set," Kerber said in her post-match press conference. "Then suddenly she called the trainer. Yeah, I know that Simona is not calling trainers just like this.

"I knew, 'Okay, something happened.' But I really didn't saw the moment, so I don't know what exactly happened. I was feeling so bad with her, because this is not the way I would like to finish a tough match against also a friend on the other side."

The two rivals have become close in 2021, playing doubles together in Miami and were practice partners in Madrid.

"We know each other very well on and off courts. This is our life on tour now, so we get through all of these situations the last year, especially now.

"When you're getting older, I think it's also a little bit easier for us. No, we are very good friends. That's why I'm really not feeling great when I see something like this happen today. I hope that she recovers soon."

Simona Halep suffers shock injury, retires to Kerber in Rome

Simona Halep suffers shock injury, retires to Kerber in Rome