Top seed Simona Halep was forced to withdraw from the Brisbane International on Tuesday due to a left leg injury. Belgian lucky loser Ysaline Bonaventure has replaced her in the draw and will meet Victoria Azarenka next.
“We’re sad to see Simona withdraw and I’m disappointed for our fans as I know they were looking forward to seeing her in Brisbane,” tournament director Cam Pearson said. “The field this year is incredibly strong and there’s still plenty of world-class action in store.”
Halep, the world No.2, was set to meet 2009 Brisbane champion Azarenka in a much-anticipated second round after receiving a bye in the first round.
It was to be just the second time Halep has played in Brisbane, having lost to Kim Clijsters in the first round here in 2012. The 2014 French Open runner-up has risen to the upper echelon of the game since, and has taken on Australian coach Darren Cahill as her full-time adviser.
“It’s good to have him close to me and to learn things from him,” Halep said of Cahill, who has worked with Andy Murray and Andre Agassi in the past, among others.
The 24-year-old Romanian said her goal in 2016 was to finally land a maiden grand slam title.
“It’s my goal (to win a major),” she said. “I believe that I have chances, but I have to work hard. I have to be concentrated for what I have to do, to be relaxed, because if I’m relaxed I know I can play better tennis.”