Chris Evert gives tantalizing critique of Simona Halep's future

Tennis fans still do not know exactly when Halep will return.
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Simona Halep is free again. After facing a four-year suspension for taking a banned substance, the Romanian player learned last week her sentence had been reduced to nine months. As she had already served that much time, she is now free to play as soon as possible. But as she has not been playing WTA tournaments, she doesn't yet have a full team around her so she has a bit of business to do before jumping back into matches.

But when Halep does come back, how will she do? High-end tennis is not something that one can regain form in quickly. No matter how great one is, it may take a tournament or four to get close to being in the kind of shape it takes to win Masters 1000s or Grand Slams.

Halep has not played professional tennis since September 2022. She is also 32 years old which might mean, even though she is young for a human being for a tennis player she is not, that she has an even slower recovery from all the time off. The good thing is that before she stopped playing, she was still competing for titles, including winning the Canada Open in August 2022.

Chris Evert has high hopes for Simona Halep's future tennis success

Chris Evert has remained supportive of Halep through her ordeal of being banned. Evert has stated on social media even before Halep's appeal was upheld that she thought Halep was not guilty. In fact, Evert placed the blame for Halep taking the substance Roxadustat on coach Patrick Mouratoglou. To be fair, Mouratoglou admitted he gave Halep some collagen that appears to have been tainted with Roxadustat. There is no way Halep could have known she was ingesting the substance.

Moving forward, however, Chris Evert thinks Halep will be just fine. In a recent interview with Romanian website iAMsport, Evert said of Halep, "Simona can certainly return to the top of the world women's tennis. The break period was long, it's true, but she has an extremely strong character. And let's not forget the desire for (every) match she has now. That could make the difference.

"I know her and I think I'm good with people. I'm very happy for her. Simona is a person with a work ethic, extremely disciplined, and principled when it comes to training and tennis. I never doubted her innocence for a second."

And that is true. Evert has consistently claimed Simona Halep's innocence. Now tennis fans should just hope Evert is correct about Halep's future success.

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