Simona Halep ready for ‘new challenge’ after remarkable WTA Rankings feat comes to an end

Simona Halep fist pump

She is “proud” of her incredible streak in the WTA Rankings top 10, but Simona Halep is determined to start a new challenge after her run came to an end.

The two-time Grand Slam winner entered the WTA Rankings top 10 for the first time on January 27, 2014 and stayed there for a remarkable 373 consecutive weeks. After being sidelined for three months due to injury, Halep dropped out of the top 10 on Monday.

It means she is eighth in terms of record number of weeks spent in the top 10 with only Martina Navratilova (1,000 consecutive weeks), Chris Evert (746), Stefanie Graf (625), Gabriela Sabatini (508), Pam Shriver (458), Arantxa Sanchez Vicario (429) and Hana Mandlikova (421) ahead of her.

“Now that I have time to think and I have time to see what I did, it’s huge,” Halep told WTA Insider. “I’m really proud that I was able to stay so long in the top 10. Unfortunately, the injury got me out. I can say that because I wasn’t able to play for three months so I didn’t have the chance to give my best to stay in the Top 10.

“But I’m not sad, I’m not upset, I’m not disappointed. I just take it as a new challenge.”

The next challenge that Halep has on her plate is the Canadian Open with the Romanian seeded sixth for the WTA 1000 event in Montreal.

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The 29-year-old, who on the tournament in 2016 and 2018, admits she is far from her best level.

“I’m really happy to be here and I’m looking forward to my first match,” she said. “It feels weird, it feels different, and it’s a new experience for me.

“It felt like I stayed away for two years honestly because to get the rhythm back of official practice sets with the players, it was really tough in the beginning. But I had a few days already and I’m getting better.

“But still, I’m far from my level. I don’t expect anything big at this tournament and in this period because it was the first time I stayed so long away with an injury and it was so difficult because I was so scared it would happen again.”