Cape Breton Post

Injuries leave Wimbledon women’s field wide open

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With top seed Ash Barty and defending champion Simona Halep both heading into Wimbledon without a single match on grass this season after recent injury concerns, the women’s field is wide open.

The French Open this month crowned a first-time women’s major winner for the sixth straight year and it could well be Wimbledon’s turn to witness a new Grand Slam champion on July 10 for the first time since France’s Marion Bartoli lifted the Venus Rosewater Dish in 2013.

Top-ranked Barty, who picks grass as her favourite surface despite winning her maiden major on Parisian clay in 2019, retired from her last two tournament­s but, more worryingly for the Australian, those were due to different physical ailments.

The 25-year-old’s Roland Garros campaign was curtailed in the second round when she had to retire due to a hip injury she suffered in training while a muscle strain in her serving arm forced her to quit during the quarter-finals in Rome.

Halep was denied a chance to defend her 2019 title when Wimbledon was cancelled last year due to the COVID19 pandemic and a pall of injury worry will hang over the second-seeded Romanian when she starts her campaign next week.

Like Barty, Halep also exited the WTA 1000 event in Rome midway after suffering a calf injury during her second-round outing against Angelique Kerber and was subsequent­ly forced to miss the French Open.

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