Simona Halep reveals how Chris Evert helped in her comeback from suspension

Halep is set to return (again) at the WTA 125 in Oeiras.
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Simona Halep might be a divisive figure in tennis due to her four-year ban for testing positive for the substance Roxadustat. Her former coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, admitted that likely gave Halep some tainted collagen accidentally and that Halep ingested the banned substance without ever knowing what she was doing. Partly because of this her four-year ban was reduced by the Court of Arbitration for Sport to only nine months.

Halep, however, was not sure how players and event organizers would welcome her back. Some might have assumed she got off too easily, even four years of suspension. A player who breaks the rules should never play again, some might think.

Instead, Halep was happily surprised that most of the reception she received was positive after she entered the Miami Open as a wild card. Only one player seemingly had any outspoken issues with Halep coming back and that was Caroline Wozniacki. However, while speaking about Halep in a post-match press conference in Miami, Wozniacki referred to Halep's ban as something to do with doping and this was not the correct narrative for why Halep was suspended.

Simona Halep reveals that Chris Evert was among a group of players who made her feel welcome in her return

In a recent interview with the Associated Press, Halep refused to go the low road and call out the people who might have reacted negatively to her return. She chose to mention the people who helped her transition back into tennis and one of those people was all-time tennis great Chris Evert. Evert had long supported Halep's claim of innocence and doubled down on her support after Halep's sentence was reduced.

Evert was among a group of former and current players who made Halep not feel like a villain in her return. Besides Evert, Kim Clijsters, Ash Barty, Angelique Kerber, Petra Kvitova, and Carla Suarez Navarro helped reassure Halep that she would not be completely out of favor on the WTA tour.

Halep's return in Miami was short-lived, though, as she lost in her first match back to Paula Badosa. The Romanian is next set to play at the WTA 125 event in Oeisras. She received a wild card for the tournament. Interestingly, so did Carolina Wozniacki. Let's hope that whatever may happen between Halep and Wozniacki, which could, of course, include playing one another, is more friendly than what happened in Miami.

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