Simona Halep accepts wild card into Linz

Former world No. 1 Simona Halep has taken a wild card into Linz. 

Halep, ranked at No. 18 in the world, is set to return to Linz for the first time after nine years. 

Halep, 30, made her Linz debut in 2012. 

Back then, Halep didn’t impress at the tournament, having lost in the round-of-16 to Victoria Azarenka. 

Nine years later, Halep is a completely different players and she will be one of the top favorites for the title. 

Halep joins Emma Raducanu in Linz 

Raducanu, who captured her maiden Grand Slam title at this past US Open, took a wild card into Linz earlier this month. 

Halep spoke extremely highly of Raducanu this week at the WTA event in Cluj-Napoca. 

“The people here are proud of what she has done,” Halep told press in Romania.

“They have adopted her, let’s say. “I heard many people talking about this – what she’s done is amazing, it’s huge to win at 18. Romania, we have had big champions in tennis – we had Virginia Ruzici, Ilie Năstase, a history in the sport. Then a gap and then I came with the big results. [There is] a big community of sports fans, who follow everything and go everywhere they can with the Romanian flags – it’s a big boost for everybody in Romania when somebody wins a big tournament. They fit themselves into that success.”

Raducanu, who has Romanian roots, revealed that Halep is an inspiration to her and she finds her cool. 

“Simona is an inspiration to me. I loved watching her from a young age. We have had a few short friendly exchanges. She has been really nice. Which I find really cool. It is amazing now I can play the same tournaments as her, see her around. I just find her really cool.”