Serena Williams & Simona Halep: Tennis Takes it Toll

US Open Serena Williams
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Simona Halep and Serena Williams are amongst the tennis players are finding things tough at the moment. Not only have they had to deal with not being able to play due to the coronavirus pandemic, a lot have succumbed to injuries.

Serena Williams shoulder

The American is currently #7 in the world rankings, and is arguably the Greatest of All Time in women’s tennis. After losing to Naomi Osaka at the Australian Open the American planned on playing the Miami Open. However, oral surgery forced Williams to withdraw before the event began.

The former world number one issued a statement in which she stated “Miami is a special tournament for me because it’s my home… I am sad I won’t be able to see the incredible fans this year, but I look forward to coming back soon.”

This year didn’t start well for Williams. The American was forced to withdraw from Yarra Valley with a shoulder injury. Williams has also suffered from injuries earlier in her career, from knee injuries to shoulder inflammation. Where Williams will next play is uncertain but it seems likely to be not until May and the clay season.

Simona Halep shoulder

The Romanian is currently #3 in the world rankings and has won two Grand Slam titles. Halep had entered Miami and received a first round bye. After a tough second round match, and a doubles match, the Romanian admitted that she had been struggling to practice.

Halep has been nursing a shoulder injury which had restricted her movement. Halep told the press, “I’m very sorry I have to pull out of singles and doubles at the Miami Open, but my injury doesn’t let me play here as I expected.”

Halep is another that has suffered from injuries. The Romanian will now also be concentrating on the clay court swing.

Other Injures: Stan Wawrinka Knee and Foot

The Swiss former World #3 recently underwent foot surgery. Wawrinka will miss the next few weeks, but hopes to be practicing again soon. The Swiss has really been unlucky with injuries in the latter part of his career. Wawrinka suffered a back problem in 2015. The Swiss also had a recurring knee problem, which stemmed from a match at the French Open in 2017.

Juan Martin Del Potro Knee

The Argentine has barely played in the last few seasons. Del Potro has been suffering from major knee issues, and has undergone several procedures. With his focus on the Tokyo Olympics, the Argentine suffered another setback.

Del Potro has not played a competitive match since 2019 where he fractured his kneecap at Queens. Having already had three procedures, the Argentine confirmed that he was currently in Chicago and would undergo a fourth operation. The 2009 US Open champion still believes he can make the Tokyo Olympics. Del Potro wants to try for the singles Gold medal, which is missing from his collection.

Could these all be down to age? potentially although Simona Halep is the youngest of the four mentioned at 29. However, as tennis players generally start from a very young age, the pressure on joints from the moment and repetition is certainly something to look at.  Serena Williams, Stan Wawrinka & Juan Martin Del Potro are in what would generally be considered the twilight of their careers.

Tennis players do seem to be playing for longer than in the past, however the older players usually tend to be doubles players. Roger Federer, is the exception to this as the Swiss still plays mainly singles. However, Federer is not exempt from injuries and is not competing in Miami because of one.

Main Photo from Getty.