Simona Halep has shut down her 2022 season early following a nose surgery. The three-time Grand Slam champion took to Twitter to share an emotional, lengthy statement explaining the "panic attack" she had at the French Open earlier this year and the exhaustion she felt following the recent US Open before deciding to go under the knife.
Halep has announced that her 2022 season has come to an end following her recent nose surgery. The world No 9 announced on Monday that she had undergone surgery to solve breathing difficulties she faced but only told fans that she would be back "soon".
On Thursday, the Romanian posted a further update as she confirmed the end of her season, explaining that the surgery was also for cosmetic reasons as well as her breathing problems. Halep reflected on her emotional season, including a "panic attack" at the French Open, as she explained that she almost retired at the beginning of the year.
"I would like to inform you about my current situation, reflect on what happened this year and as I always did, share with you my deep feelings," she wrote. "As you all know already because I've talked about it many times, in February, I was very close to stop tennis because I didn't believe I have enough power to come back to top 10. I was going through many anxious moments and I thought it is time to stop cause it is emotionally unhealthy."
Things changed for the 24-time title winner when she added Serena Williams' former coach Patrick Mouratoglou to her team, as she explained: "Then I was lucky to discover Patrick's Academy where I felt so much passion that it gave me back my passion for tennis. Thanks to Patrick, I slowly started to believe that I still can play a good level of tennis.
"I was totally open to everything he told me to do, the way I should do it and the amount of work that I should do. I did everything fully. My goal was very clear: I gave myself one year to get back to top 10. When I decide something, I always go full, and I trusted Patrick 100%, so I wanted his people and only his people to be in charge of me. That is why I made many changes in my Team. Because I felt it was the right thing to do: go fully into that project."
Halep then admitted that she felt extra pressure afterwards, spurring on her panic attack in Paris. "It was a very tough period because I always put pressure on myself and having the best coach next to me it felt even more pressure to win and do well. This ended up with the panic attack during my match in Paris," she continued.
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"I felt Roland Garros was the moment that I have to play great because of all the work I've done. I couldn t handle the pressure and I broke down. Then I talked to Patrick and told him that I need to relax because I can't play with the pressure I put on myself and asked him to be patient with me for the next 6 months. No expectations. He listened to me, agreed and he supported me 100%.
"After that I could play one of my best tennis. And faster than I ever expected, in only 2 months, I was back to top 10. Goal achieved!" But the 30-year-old admitted she was burned out by the time she got to the US Open, where she suffered a shock defeat to 20-year-old Grand Slam debutant Daria Snigur.
Halep added: "But then, when I lost at the US Open, I realized that I'm completely exhausted mentally. Having problems with the breathing for many years already and becoming worse with the time, I decided to follow the advice of my doctors and do the needed surgery."
Halep also explained that she partly underwent the surgery for cosmetic reasons to achieve a look she liked as well as fixing her breathing difficulties. "I could never do it earlier because I never found the necessary three months for the recovery, because tennis was always the first priority in my life," she wrote.
"But I felt it's the right time to do it and also to do something for myself as a person. That is why I did also the aesthetic part, that I wanted to do for a long time as I did not like my nose at all. So I did it, I solved the functional part and the aesthetic part. I know many of you can understand me."
The former world No 1's comments come as she is in the midst of divorcing husband Toni Iuruc less than a year after they got married. Halep rounded off her statement by confirming the end of her season as she added: "I don't know how long the recovery will take, for the moment I am not thinking about anything but recovery. What is sure, is that this year I won't be able to compete in any official tournament anymore. My 2022 season is over. 2022, you have been an interesting year full of everything! See you on court, 2023! I feel I still have a lot to do on a tennis court and still have some goals".