Simona Halep is confident she would know how to handle a Wimbledon panic attack after her traumatic recent Roland Garros experience.

The former world number one is ready for her first return to action at the All England Club since landing the 2019 title, having missed out last year due to a calf injury.

With the 2020 championships cancelled due to the pandemic, it has been a three-year wait for Halep to make another SW19 appearance, and plenty has changed in her life since then.

She married last year and has a high-profile new coach in Patrick Mouratoglou, who helped to guide the career of Serena Williams for almost a decade.

Last month saw Halep suffer an on-court panic attack during a shock second-round defeat to Zheng Qinwen at the French Open, and she was quick to speak about the episode immediately after the match, determined it would be an important step in moving on.

"Hopefully it doesn't happen again because I didn't like it," Halep said in a news conference on Sunday, a day ahead of Wimbledon getting under way.

"It was coming from nowhere because I was leading the match. Probably just the pressure of the tournament, the fact that I struggled last year. I didn't believe that I'm strong enough, probably.

"But now I feel stronger, and I feel that if it's going to happen again, I will know how to handle it.

"It's never easy. It was really tough to handle it. But lately everyone goes through this, with all the situation in the world. I will not be hard on myself that I was weak in that match.

"I just take it as an experience and as a lesson, so next time I'll be better."

Halep has a tough Wimbledon opener against Karolina Muchova, an unseeded player who has reached the quarter-finals in the past two editions of the tournament.

That match will take place on Tuesday, but it will not open up play on Centre Court.

That is usually the honour afforded to the defending champion, but Ash Barty has retired since beating Karolina Pliskova in last year's final.

Some felt that Halep, having missed out last year when she would have been returning to defend the title, should have been given the opening slot this year; however, Wimbledon announced the privilege will go to world number one Iga Swiatek.

"I feel sad that I missed it because I was injured and didn't get the chance," Halep said. "Hopefully I can have another chance, so I can look forward to that."

She will need to win another Wimbledon title for that to happen and will hope the tie-up with Mouratoglou helps her achieve that ambition.

Mouratoglou said in an Instagram post that Halep's results in the clay-court season were "insufficient" for a player of her quality and said he would "take full responsibility" for those.

"I was surprised, shocked that he did the post and took everything on him," Halep said. "But it was not on him, it was me; I was not able to do better and to calm down myself when I panicked. It was new for me as well, and I was not good enough. We are much better after that day.

"We both probably learned some things about each other, and now we will handle better situations like those."

Reigning Eastbourne International champion Jelena Ostapenko will go up against Petra Kvitova in 2022 Saturday's final.

Ostapenko won as a wildcard in 2021, and the world number 14 confirmed her place in this year's showdown by overcoming Camila Giorgi on Friday.

She is the first female player to reach back-to-back finals in Eastbourne since Caroline Wozniacki in 2017 and 2018.

The Latvian, who is also going to compete for the doubles title, prevailed 6-2 6-2 and will now go up against Kvitova. The pair have faced off eight times previously, with each player winning four matches.

It is Kvitova's first appearance in a final in 2022, with the former world number two – and two-time Wimbledon champion – having ended Beatriz Haddad Maia's winning streak.

Haddad Maia won in Birmingham last week and Nottingham the week before, but her run came to an end at 12 matches, with Kvitova triumphing 7-6 (7-5) 6-4.

"For me, a final after almost a year [without one] will be great, so I’m glad already," said Kvitova, who was a runner-up at Eastbourne in 2011 and last reached a final on grass in Birmingham four years ago.

"Jelena loves to play here, obviously, we saw it, she has a really great game for grass."

Meanwhile, at the Bad Homburg Open, 2019 US Open champion Bianca Andreescu reached her sixth career final courtesy of a walkover against Simona Halep.

The Romanian withdrew from the semi-final clash with a neck injury, which will worry the 2019 Wimbledon champion ahead of the season's third grand slam at the All England Club.

"I am sorry that I had to withdraw today before my semi-final match," Halep said in a statement.

"But unfortunately I woke up this morning with a blocked neck and this is not allowing me to perform to the best of my ability."

Andreescu will face Caroline Garcia, who saved a match point before going on to beat fellow Frenchwoman Alize Cornet 7-6 (11-9) 3-6 7-5 to reach an 11th tour-level showpiece.

Serena Williams will begin her Wimbledon challenge against French player Harmony Tan, who will be making her main-draw debut.

For 40-year-old American Williams, a seven-time Wimbledon singles champion, there will be relief at avoiding a seed in the first round.

That was a possibility given that Williams is in the draw on a wildcard, having not played singles since suffering an ankle injury in her Wimbledon opener 12 months ago.

Instead, the 23-time grand slam winner will face the world number 113, who lost in the first round of the recent French Open, perhaps as soft a landing as Williams could have had.

Wimbledon begins on Monday at the All England Club, with women's defending champion Ash Barty not involved after announcing a shock retirement in March.

Williams has returned to action this week at the Eastbourne International, winning through two rounds in doubles alongside Ons Jabeur, before the duo pulled out due to a knee worry for Jabeur.

Awaiting the winner of Williams versus Tan will be American Christina McHale or Spanish 32nd seed Sara Sorribes Tormo, while last year's runner-up Karolina Pliskova is a potential third-round obstacle.

Women's top seed Iga Swiatek starts against Croatian qualifier Jana Fett, while Britain's US Open champion Emma Raducanu was drawn to face the experienced Belgian Alison Van Uytvanck, a player who knocked out the then-defending champion Garbine Muguruza at Wimbledon four years ago.

Tunisian third seed Jabeur was paired with Swedish qualifier Mirjam Bjorklund, Pliskova faces fellow Czech Tereza Martincova, and American Coco Gauff, fresh from a first grand slam final in Paris, drew Romanian Elena-Gabriela Ruse.

Estonia's Anett Kontaveit, who may struggle to live up to her billing as the second seed having never previously gone past round three, plays American Bernarda Pera first up.

Among former champions, Angelique Kerber tackles Kristina Mladenovic in her opener, while Simona Halep was handed a tough assignment against Karolina Muchova.

Of all the players in the draw this year, Muchova is the woman with the highest winning percentage in Wimbledon main draw matches.

The Czech has an 80 per cent success record, winning eight matches and losing twice after reaching the quarter-finals in her both previous appearances, losing to Elina Svitolina in 2019 and Kerber last season.

Bianca Andreescu dismantled top seed Daria Kasatkina to reach the semi-finals of the Bad Homburg Open, while Beatriz Haddad Maia moved a step closer to a third straight title in Eastbourne. 

A resounding 6-4 6-1 win over Kasatkina saw Andreescu advance to the last four of a WTA Tour grass-court tournament for the first time. 

The last time she reached the semi-finals in any event was the 2021 Miami Open, where she finished as runner-up after retiring with an ankle injury in the second set of the final against Ash Barty. 

Andreescu limited Kasatkina to just 17.6 per cent of the points behind the Russian's second serve and saved four of the six break points she faced to book a meeting with Simona Halep. 

Former world number one Halep sent down 10 aces and converted all three of the break points that came her way in a 6-2 6-1 success over Amanda Anisimova. 

The other semi-final will be an all-French affair after Alize Cornet and Caroline Garcia downed home hopes Angelique Kerber and Sabine Lisicki respectively. 

After going all the way in Nottingham and Birmingham this month, Haddad Maia progressed to the semi-finals of the Eastbourne International courtesy of a walkover against Lesia Tsurenko. 

Next up for Haddad Maia is Petra Kvitova, who she beat in straight sets in the first round in Birmingham, after the Czech ended Harriet Dart's run to the quarter-finals with a 6-3 6-4 win. 

Jelena Ostapenko cruised to a 6-3 6-2 victory against Anhelina Kalinina and will take on Camila Giorgi for a place in the final. Giorgi comfortably overcame lucky loser Viktoriya Tomova 6-2 6-1 in 64 minutes. 

Garbine Muguruza saw her Wimbledon preparations take a hit as she fell to a last-16 defeat at the Eastbourne International on Wednesday. 

World number 26 Camila Giorgi battled from a break down in both sets to beat fifth seed Muguruza 7-5 6-3 in an hour and 53 minutes. 

That meant 12th seed Giorgi made her second straight quarter-final, following a last-eight appearance in Birmingham, and will next face Viktoriya Tomova, who defeated Kirsten Flipkens 3-6 6-3 6-4. 

Jil Teichmann, the 10th seed at the tournament, was a notable second-round elimination, falling to a 7-6 (9-7) 4-6 6-3 defeat to Briton Harriet Dart, who later triumphed 6-4 2-6 6-4 over Marta Kostyuk. 

Dart's fellow Briton Katie Boulter stunned last year's Wimbledon runner-up Karolina Pliskova in the second round but had no such luck against Petra Kvitova, losing 5-7 6-0 7-5. 

Beatriz Haddad Maia, the winner at the Birmingham Open last week, extended to a 12-match winning streak with a 6-1 6-2 victory over Jodie Burrage. 

Jelena Ostapenko also progressed after Madison Keys retired when 6-3 down and will next face Anhelina Kalinina, who battled to a 6-3 2-6 6-3 win over 16th seed Yulia Putintseva. 

While seeds fell at Eastbourne, there were not as many shocks at the Bad Homburg Open, where Angelique Kerber defeated Lucia Bronzetti 6-2 6-3 to reach the quarter-finals. 

Fourth seed Simona Halep also made the last eight with 6-0 6-3 victory over Tamara Zidansek and will meet Amanda Anisimova after she won an All-American match against Ann Li 6-0 6-2. 

Alize Cornet downed Tatjana Maria 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 to tee up a clash with Kerber, while Bianca Andreescu will meet top seed Daria Kasatkina after defeating Katie Swan 6-4 6-4. 

Katie Boulter stunned last year's Wimbledon runner-up Karolina Pliskova at the Eastbourne International as the Briton secured the first top-10 scalp of her career.

Despite making a strong start, fourth seed Pliskova faltered and lost 1-6 6-4 6-4 to the world number 127 in the pair's last-32 match.

Boulter said: "I'm super-proud of myself today. I went out there and didn't feel great on court, and I worked so hard to battle and fight, and against a player like that it means so much to me, coming through that."

There was another major shock win for a British player later in the day as Jodie Burrage knocked out top seed Paula Badosa, the world number 169 triumphing 6-4 6-3 against a player who will be seeded fourth at Wimbledon.

Defending champion Jelena Ostapenko beat Ajla Tomljanovic 6-4 6-4 and two-time Wimbledon winner Petra Kvitova saw off Donna Vekic 6-1 7-6 (7-1), while Beatriz Haddad Maia's strong form on grass continued with a 6-4 3-6 6-3 victory over Estonian veteran Kaia Kanepi.

Brazilian left-hander Haddad Maia is coming off the back of title wins in Nottingham and Birmingham and stretched her winning run on grass to 11 matches.

There were also wins in Eastbourne for Camila Giorgi, Madison Keys and Barbora Krejcikova, but Greek third seed Maria Sakkari bowed out, losing 3-6 7-5 6-4 to Ukrainian Anhelina Kalinina.

At the Bad Homburg Open in Germany, the 2019 Wimbledon champion Simona Halep scrambled for a 4-6 6-3 6-4 win against Katerina Siniakova, and sixth seed Amanda Anisimova came from a set down to see off Alison van Uytvanck in a third-set tie-break.

Bianca Andreescu saw off Martina Trevisan 6-3 6-1 and Angelique Kerber also won in straight sets, while top seed and recent French Open semi-finalist Daria Kasatkina reached the quarter-finals with a 6-1 3-6 6-1 win over Germany's Jule Niemeier.

Kasatkina will be absent from Wimbledon due to the ban on Russian players.

Beatriz Haddad Maia claimed back-to-back WTA Tour titles after Zhang Shuai retired hurt in the Birmingham Classic final on Sunday.

Haddad Maia enjoyed a fine day, beating second seed and two-time major champion Simona Halep 6-3 2-6 6-4 in a rearranged semi-final (postponed from Saturday due to rain).

Zhang followed that up by battling past Halep's Romanian compatriot Sorana Cirstea 4-6 6-1 7-6 (7-5), setting up a second career match with Haddad Maia.

The Brazilian struggled in the opening stages, with Zhang racing into the lead before squandering an opportunity to go 3-0 up.

Haddad Maia soon recovered to level at 3-3 before Zhang was forced to retire with an apparent neck injury, with the Chinese player 5-4 down in the first set.

 

That handed the world number 32 her second straight title after success at the Nottingham Open last week, with Ons Jabeur and Iga Swiatek the only others to record multiple WTA Tour triumphs this year.

Haddad Maia also became the first Brazilian lift the trophy in the tournament's 40-year history, surpassing the previous best result by a player from Brazil when Gisele Miro made the second round in 1989.

Ons Jabeur kept Coco Gauff waiting for a top 10 debut as the Tunisian battled past her teenage opponent to reach the Berlin Open final.

Gauff would have secured a career-high ranking on the WTA list if she had won Saturday's semi-final, but top seed Jabeur took it 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 to earn a shot at Belinda Bencic in the title match.

Only world number one Iga Swiatek has won more matches on the WTA Tour than fourth-ranked Jabeur this year, who collected a 29th win as she overcame a 3-1 career head-to-head deficit against Gauff to earn the victory.

Gauff, at 18 years and 98 days, would have become the youngest American to reach a grass-court singles final on tour since Andrea Jaeger was runner-up to Martina Navratilova at Wimbledon in 1983.

It was not to be her day though, Jabeur breaking serve for the fourth time in the match to seal victory, encouraged by a large and vocal Tunisian following.

Reflecting on the match, Jabeur said: "When you play Coco you have to have all the shots. She's a talented player; she's very tough to beat. You can see I've lost already three times against her.

"Sometimes she takes it, sometimes I take it, and it was a great match for both of us."

This is just the second WTA tournament where 27-year-old Jabeur has been a top seed.

"I've tried to act like a number one seed on and off the court, and it's a good pressure," she added. "I'm trying to handle it very well and with the support of our Tunisian people here it's great."

Olympic gold medallist Bencic had earlier claimed an impressive 6-7 (6-8) 6-4 6-4 win over Greek second seed Maria Sakkari in the first semi-final.

Jabeur was bettered by Bencic in a hard-fought Charleston final in April, but is determined to secure a different outcome this time.

"I'm definitely going for the final revenge because we played each other at Charleston, and it was a very, very tough match," Jabeur said. "I hope she's tired from today's match."

Rain meant there was no play at the Birmingham Classic on Saturday, with the semi-finals set back to Sunday.

Beatriz Haddad Maia will face 2019 Wimbledon champion Simona Halep, while Zhang Shuai tackles Sorana Cirstea.

Coco Gauff reached the first grass-court semi-final of her career by beating Karolina Pliskova at the Berlin Open, teeing up a clash with top seed Ons Jabeur.

Having already recorded her best tour-level run on grass by reaching the final eight, Gauff recorded a superb 7-5 6-4 win over two-time grand slam finalist Pliskova.

Gauff – who reached her first grand slam final at Roland Garros last month, saved four set points in the opener before roaring to victory in one hour and 37 minutes, and was delighted to have overcome a tough opponent in the world number seven.

"I'm super happy with how I played today," Gauff said on court after the win. "Playing her on grass, with her serve, how flat she hits the ball, it was really tough to be honest. 

"A first semi-final on grass is pretty cool, and also I feel like the opponents I've played this week haven’t been easy, especially today, so I'm proud of myself about that."

Gauff will face Jabeur for a spot in the final after the Tunisian fought back from one set down in a 6-7 (3-7) 6-2 6-2 win over Aliaksandra Sasnovich, who entered the contest having won 26 matches during an impressive year.

The other semi-final will see Maria Sakkari face Belinda Bencic, after the world number six cruised to a 6-0 6-3 win over Daria Kasatkina and Bencic beat Veronika Kudermetova 3-6 6-3 6-3.

In the Birmingham Classic, meanwhile, Simona Halep raced to a 6-4 6-1 win over Katie Boulter to reach the final four, but third seed Camila Giorgi fell to a 6-3 6-2 loss to Brazil's Beatriz Haddad Maia, who has now won eight consecutive games on grass.

While that pair will face off in one of Saturday's semi-finals, eighth seed Zhang Shuai will face Sorana Cirstea in the other. Zhang overcame Dayana Yastremska 7-5 6-4 and sixth seed Cirstea beat Donna Vekic 5-7 6-3 6-4.

Simona Halep won her first match on grass since 2019 as she cruised past Lesia Tsurenko to reach the second round of the Birmingham Classic on Monday.

Halep's last grass-court match was the impressive 6-2 6-2 defeat of Serena Williams in the 2019 Wimbledon final.

While Monday's triumph may not have been of comparable importance, the 6-1 6-4 win was a positive step in Halep's preparation for a return to SW19 later this month.

After saving three break points in the very first game, the former world number one rarely looked in trouble against her Ukrainian opponent, breaking Tsurenko's serve at the first opportunity.

She repeated the feat to go 5-1 up before serving to love to close out the set, though Tsurenko showed a bit more fight at the start of the second – only one of the first five service games was a hold.

Halep ultimately weathered the storm, however, taking her chance to go 5-4 up and once again served to love to wrap up the match.

Seeded second, Halep was the only seed in action on Monday and will meet home favourite Harriet Dart next, with the Brit impressively seeing off Camila Osorio – ranked 45 places better off – 6-2 6-0.

In Berlin, fourth and sixth seeds Karolina Pliskova and Daria Kasatkina secured their passage to the last 16.

Pliskova struggled initially against Kaia Kanepi but went on to produce two near-flawless sets to progress 6-7 (6-8) 6-0 6-0 – Kasatkina also came from behind, with an ankle injury to Anhelina Kalinina potentially aiding her 5-7 6-3 6-1 victory.

Bianca Andreescu was also among the winners in Berlin, with the Canadian beating Katerina Siniakova to claim only her second career success on grass.

Former world number one Simona Halep says she suffered a panic attack during her second round match with Zheng Qinwen, contributing to her early French Open exit.

The 2018 Roland Garros champion became the latest big name to make a shock departure from Paris inside the first week after blowing a first set lead to lose 2-6 6-2 6-1.

It marked a major scalp for the unseeded Zhang, who previously lost to Halep in January, and was arguably the biggest win of the Chinese teenager's career at her competition debut.

But Halep, who looked to be in cruise control early on, revealed she suffered an unexpected setback that threw her rhythm in her post-match comments, though she has now recovered.

"I was playing well at the start," she stated. "I had a break in the second set, but then something happened. I just lost it.

"It was just a panic attack. I didn't know how to handle it, because I don't have [them] often. I don't really know why it happened, because I was leading the match. I was playing well

"After the match, [it] was pretty tough.  But now I'm good. I'm recovered, and I will learn from this episode. It's good that now I can smile."

On her overall time at Roland Garros, Halep admitted she was happy to come through it unscathed, adding: "Tomorrow is a new day. 

"I know it's like a cliche, but it's a new day, and I'll wake up motivated to keep working. [I've] no injury, which is really good. Now I'm in a good place."

Former world number one Simona Halep is out of the French Open after crumbling from a one-set lead against Zheng Qinwen in the second round on Thursday.

The 2018 Roland Garros champion, the most experienced player in the draw at this year's competition, fell to a 2-6 6-2 6-1 loss against her unseeded opponent.

Halep, who is now coached by Serena Williams' former coach Patrick Mouratoglou, is the latest big name to suffer an early exit on clay this year.

The 30-year-old, who fought off a comeback from lucky loser Nastasja Schunk on Tuesday, looked to be cruising after the first set.

But Halep failed to navigate a fiery response from Zheng, who blazed through the second set to tie things up before an impressive rout in the third in her first appearance in Paris.

It marks revenge for the teenager as well, having fallen to Halep at the semi-final stage of the Melbourne Summer Set 1 earlier this year.

It continues a mixed 2022 for the Romanian so far, whose best finishes were victory in Victoria, followed by reaching the final four at the Dubai Tennis Championships and Indian Wells Masters.

Zheng will now face either 13th seed Jelena Ostapenko or France's Alize Cornet in the third round, with the pair set to play later on Thursday.

Former world number one Simona Halep says she will put "as much pressure as possible" on herself as she seeks French Open glory.

The 2018 Roland Garros champion came through her first-round clash against 18-year-old lucky loser Nastasja Schunk 6-4 1-6 6-1 on Tuesday.

Number 19 seed Halep, who is now coached by Serena Williams' former coach Patrick Mouratoglou, has played 42 main-draw matches at the French Open – more than any other player in this year's competition.

Asked if that experience brings with it more pressure, Halep told a media conference: "Well, hopefully I put as much pressure as possible on myself because I love pressure. It's good to have it and it keeps you focused.

"Everyone is playing well, so it's a big challenge every match. We are at Grand Slam, so it's always tough. But I'm here to face these challenges, and I'm here to give my best.

"So, I will focus on myself. I will try to do what I have to do, and that's it. Then we will see.

"I will think about the next round only, and then if I will win it, I will think about the next one.

"I don't want to look further than that. It's important to just stay focused and to play the next match."

Halep will face Zheng Qinwen in the second round after the Chinese player overcame Maryna Zanevska 6-3 6-1 on Monday. 

Iga Swiatek and Paula Badosa progressed to the third round of the Internazionali d'Italia with ease as the former continued her impressive winning run on Wednesday.

Top seed Switaek, seeking a fifth consecutive title, breezed past Elena-Gabriela Ruse 6-3 6-0 as she became the first female player to win 24 consecutive matches since Serena Williams in 2015.

Badosa followed suit by dispatching Aliaksandra Sasnovich 6-2 6-1 in just an hour and 17 minutes, teeing up a third-round clash with Daria Kasatkina, who beat Leylah Fernandez 4-6 6-3 7-6 (7-2).

Aryna Sabalenka, the third favourite in Italy, also made light work of Zhang Shuai to triumph 6-2 6-0, while fourth seed Maria Sakkari cruised past Madrid Open semi-finalist Ekaterina Alexandrova 6-3 6-2.

Sakkari will next face a Rome rematch with Coco Gauff, who defeated compatriot Madison Brengle 6-2 6-4. Teenager Gauff's sole win against Sakkari came at this tournament in the second round last year.

Yulia Putintseva came from behind to beat Garbine Muguruza 3-7 7-6 (7-4) 6-1, and will next meet Ons Jabeur, who made it eight successive main-draw wins by defeating Ajla Tomljanovic 7-5 6-2.

Seventh seed Danielle Collins also battled past former world number one Simona Halep 7-6 (7-1) 6-3.

There was no such joy for fifth seed Anett Kontaveit as she crashed out to Petra Martic in straight sets, while Jil Teichmann upset former Rome champion Karolina Pliskova in a three-set thriller.

Belinda Bencic, who was ranked as 12th seed, was another early casualty as she fell to a 7-6 (7-4) 6-1 defeat against American Amanda Anisimova.

Meanwhile, Jessica Pegula secured her third-round spot after Anhelina Kalinina withdrew due to injury, with Victoria Azarenka earning a straightforward 6-2 6-4 victory over Camila Osorio to get a shot at favourite Swiatek in the next round.

Former world number ones Simona Halep and Victoria Azarenka advanced to the second round of the Internazionali d'Italia on Monday, while Coco Gauff scored an impressive win over Angelique Kerber. 

Halep was a 6-4 6-4 winner against Alize Cornet, who defeated her in the fourth round of the Australian Open in January, and will face seventh seed Danielle Collins next. 

It was only the Romanian's second win in her six matches against Cornet, though she needed two chances to serve out both sets. 

Azarenka needed just 68 minutes to see of Viktorija Golubic, dropping just five points behind her first serve and winning 12 out of 14 from the final three games to complete a 6-3 6-0 triumph. 

It only took Gauff two minutes more to see off the challenge of Kerber, who has now won just two of her eight matches on the WTA Tour this year.

Leylah Fernandez came from behind to claim an impressive 1-6 6-2 6-2 victory over 16th seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, while Madison Keys went down 6-4 6-4 to Anhelina Kalinina. 

Aliaksandra Sasnovich's 3-6 7-6 (7-4) 6-1 win over Veronika Kudermetova secured her a second-round match against second seed Paula Badosa. 

Belinda Bencic overcame Elisabetta Cocciaretto 6-4 6-2, Shuai Zhang set up a match with Aryna Sabalenka by beating Martina Trevisan 6-4 6-2, and Petra Martic will face Anett Kontaveit after besting Karolina Muchova 6-2 3-6 6-1. 

There were also wins for Daria Kasatkina and Yulia Putintseva before rain interrupted Ajla Tomljanovic's match against Camila Giorgi when the Australian was 6-3 4-2 up.

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