Simona Halep appears to be doing exactly what Caroline Wozniacki wants

Halep will appear in a low-level event next week.
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Simona Halep was banned for four years for testing positive for the substance Roxadustat. The suspension was reduced to only nine months after a review by the Court of Arbitration for Sport and Halep, since she had already served more than nine months of her suspension, was able to play right away. She did so by returning to the Miami Open which she had accepted a wild card to.

Most players, if they thought anything about Halep's return or not, did not speak out about what they thought of Halep coming back and her ban. But Caroline Wozniacki is not most people and she had an issue with Halep accepting a wild card so soon after the suspension was reduced. Wozniacki told the press that she feels that players who are suspended need to earn their way back into tournaments instead of getting a free pass.

Wozniacki said in a press conference during the Miami Open when she was asked about Halep's return, "I’ve been very outspoken in the past about how I feel about doping and all of that. I have always wanted a clean sport, fair for everybody. I think it’s definitely still my opinion. This is not directly at Simona, but if someone purposely cheats, if someone has tested positive for doping it’s my personal belief that I don’t think people should be awarded Wildcards afterward.

Simona Halep is unintentionally doing as Caroline Wozniacki wishes

"If you want to come back, and it’s been a mistake, I understand, you should work your way up from the bottom."

Fair enough and Wozniacki has a right to her opinion, though technically what Halep was accused of wasn't doping. That implies she did something directly with her blood supply, such as some type of transfusion, and Halep simply ingested - unknowingly, according to Halep - a banned substance that can create more red blood cells. More red blood cells should mean more oxygen in one's blood supply which could mean better endurance. But again, Halep denies knowingly taking the substance, and her coach at the time, Patrick Mouratoglou admitted he may have accidentally given Halep some tainted collagen.

But whether Halep is intentionally trying to work her way back up or not, and fulfill Wozniacki's suggestion, the Romanian is choosing to make her next tournament the WTA 125 event in Oeiras. The tournament equates to a Challenger-level event.

The thinking seems to be that Halep needs to play more to get into better form ahead of bigger clay court events, but Halep did not do this with her first tournament, the Miami Open Masters. She just went straight from not playing any tournaments to playing a high-level one. It likely would have been smarter to play a smaller event, but she chose not to.

Another interesting bit happens in the tournament after Oeiras. Halep accepted a wild card to play in the Mutua Madrid Open, a WTA 1000 event. The fun part is that Wozniacki also accepted a wild card for the tournament. The war of words between the Dane and the Romanian might not yet be finished.

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