Simona Halep says she has a goal of winning all the clay-court tournaments this year
Simona Halep has her sights set on finally winning the Stuttgart Open where Ashleigh Barty is the top seed; Sofia Kenin and Elina Svitolina are also in the draw at the WTA 500 event in Germany
Last Updated: 20/04/21 2:54pm
Former world No 1 Simona Halep has an ultimate goal of winning all the clay-court tournaments this year, starting with the Stuttgart Open.
The Romanian has recovered from a right shoulder injury that forced her out of the Miami Open last month.
It was her first tournament since a quarter-final exit at the Australian Open in February, after experiencing soreness following practice sessions.
But the 29-year-old is now ready to kick off her European clay-court season with a long-awaited win in Stuttgart.
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"I had more than two weeks' break and some treatment on my shoulder. I feel much better," the world No 3 told reporters at the WTA 500 event.
"I didn't have pain in the last few days that I practised at home and also here. Hopefully, I can stay like that during matches because matches are different from practice."
Former French Open champion Halep has won every major European clay title on the WTA calendar except Stuttgart.
"I want it badly. It's a nice tournament, nice conditions, the people are nice to me here," she said.
"It's one of my goals to win this tournament as well. I want to win all the clay-court tournaments if possible."
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Halep will have her coach Darren Cahill in her corner throughout the clay-court swing due to the strict COVID-19 restrictions in Australia.
"He'll be with me because he can't get back home, he's stuck with me. He's been in Romania for a week," Halep said.
"We trained very well back home. Now, he's here for the first time and it's nice to have him the whole clay season because it's my favourite. To have him means a lot. I have confidence when he's around."