Hours after receiving a four-year suspension, Simona Halep’s 2019 Wimbledon win sparks Serena Williams’ recent jab

Simona Halep has experienced a downturn in fortunes ever since her ill-fated first-round loss at the 2021 US Open. The former world no.1 has garnered a lot of fans over the years through her hard-hitting style and victories over top-ranked players.

Serena Williams has been one of her victims. The 23-time grand slam champion has won most of her titles at the Australian Open and Wimbledon. She has triumphed 7 times on the grass courts in London and in the wake of Simona Halep’s scandal, the retired American star has taken a sly dig at the Romanian by referencing their 2019 Wimbledon final match. 

Serena Williams’ reference to Halep’s Wimbledon triumph draws attention

Simona Halep was crowned Wimbledon champion in 2019 when defeated Serena Williams in straight sets. This was her first grass-court grand slam title. It could have been Serena’s eighth. And the queen of New York didn’t hold back with her wits when she posted ‘8 is a better number’ on Twitter.

On any other day, the tweet could have been interpreted in a myriad of different fashions. But it was posted just a few days after the judgement was passed by the tribunal on Simona Halep’s case of doping violations. So, fans quickly came to the conclusion that the post was a callout of Halep.

Had Serena Williams defeated Simona Halep on that windy, sunny afternoon in London, she would have tied with Margaret Court’s all-time record of 24 grand slam titles. Since that match, Serena’s form slowly waned and she never managed to rediscover her golden touch. Two subsequent semifinal appearances at grand slams and a third-round loss at the 2022 US Open later, she retired from the sport

Simona Halep is just 31 years old. She would have expected a top-flight stay for at least another five years but the ensuing battle with the International Tennis Federation(ITF) has served as a roadblock in her career, one she is fighting hard to overcome. 

Halep’s tennis career in jeopardy after four-year doping ban

Simona Halep tested positive for the banned booster drug Roxadustat in her urine test during the 2021 US Open. Halep exited the event after a first-round loss to Ukrainian Daria Snigur. She was barred from participating in any matches until her case was heard and a judgement was passed in her favour.

Simona Halep

The case was referred to experts, who opined that the Romanian had indeed violated doping regulations by ingesting the drug. The tribunal eventually slapped a four-year ban on Halep, which meant she could only return to the tennis court in October 2026. 

Halep seemed devastated by the verdict, yet firmly resolved to fight her case, in a Twitter post where she detailed her accidental ingestion of the drug and how authorities stonewalled any attempts from her to explain herself. 

With Halep sidelined for another four years, unless the verdict is changed after considering Halep’s pleas, she would be 35 years old when she returns. It would be a tough battle for the Romanian to maintain her physical levels in her downtime and return to win matches.

What are your opinions on Serena Williams’ post? Was it in bad taste given Simona Halep’s earnest pleas to fight her case? Let us know in the comments section below. 




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