Simona Halep dismisses retirement rumours, saying: ‘I never said I would stop playing after the wedding party’

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Simona Halep press conference

Simona Halep believes she is getting closer regaining her best former with the former world No 1 playing down suggestions that she was close to retirement, insisting “I’m still motivated and still love tennis”.

The two-time Grand Slam winner has endured an injury disrupted campaign as she missed the French Open, her title defence at Wimbledon and the Tokyo Olympics due to a calf injury.

She eventually made her return for the North American hard-court season, but was easing her way back into full fitness.

After her round of 16 exit from the US Open, Halep tied the knot with her longtime partner Toni Iuruc and suddenly there were rumous that she is close to hanging up her racket.

However, the 30-year-old still loves playing tennis.

“Many people were talking about that, but I never said I would stop playing after the wedding party,” she is quoted as saying by Tennis.com.

“I’m still motivated and still love tennis. My husband is next to me all the time, and I’m happy to stay on court, and play matches.”

Following a quarter-final exit from the Kremlin Cup last week, Halep returned to action on Wednesday as she took on fellow Romanian Elena-Gabriela Ruse in the first round of the Transylvania Open.

The top seed looked in good nick as she brushed aside her compatriot 6-1, 6-2 and she certainly feels like her game is on the up again.

“I’m improving, day by day,” she said. “I feel more confident during the tournaments and matches. I think I’m starting to feel my best game again.

“Of course, it’s never easy after a long period without playing matches. Now, I’m focused only on what I feel today, and I feel good. The injuries are in the past, so I’m trying to take positives from every match.”

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