Halep pulls out of Qatar Open


FILE PHOTO: Tennis - Australian Open - Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 16, 2021 Romania's Simona Halep in action during her quarter final match against Serena Williams of the U.S. REUTERS/Loren Elliott

(Reuters) - World number three Simona Halep has withdrawn from next week's Qatar Open in Doha, the organisers of the WTA 500 tournament announced on Tuesday.

Halep, who lost in straight sets to Serena Williams in the Australian Open quarter-finals last week, did not specify why she was pulling out of the March 1-6 hard court tournament.

"Unfortunately I have made the decision to withdraw from the Qatar Total Open," Halep said in a statement released by the tournament organisers.

"It's always one of my favourite stops on the tour and I really look forward to being back in Doha next year."

World number one Ash Barty and American Sofia Kenin are expected to compete in the tournament along with the likes of Elina Svitolina, Karolina Pliskova and Aryna Sabalenka.

(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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