Halep withdraws from the Qatar Open

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(Reuters) – The WTA 500 organizers announced on Tuesday the withdrawal of world number three Simona Halep from the Qatar Open next week in Doha.

Halep, who lost in straight sets to Serena Williams in the Australian Open quarter-finals last week, did not specify the reason for her withdrawal from the tournament, which was held on March 1-6.

“Unfortunately, I made the decision to withdraw from the Qatar Total Open,” Halep said in a statement issued by the tournament organizers.

“It’s always one of my favorite stops on the tour and I’m really looking forward to going back to Doha next year.”

World number one Ash Party and American Sophia Kenin are expected to compete in the tournament, along with the likes of Elena Svitolina, Karolina Pliskova and Arina Sabalenka.

(Reported by Shrivathsa Sridhar, Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnage)

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