“The last 18 months were very tough, emotional, and physical,” Halep wrote on Instagram after defeat to Zheng. “After losing in Doha, my message to the people very close to me was that I could not do it anymore, that I was done with tennis. But somehow, I got the fire back and started to feel the love for tennis again, and I decided to work hard and make significant changes.
“I am very proud of myself for all I have done lately. I could only do this with Patrick’s help, and I want to thank him for being by my side. The results are tough of course because the expectations are high. I’m a grand slam winner, I’m a former number 1, and I am expected to win. But nothing should be taken for granted. To be able to touch the highest mountain in tennis again, I need time and a lot of hard work.”