Simona Halep, one of the Tennis players who used to be considered among the future world leaders in women’s tennis, began to lose her glow over the past few weeks. Although she began the season with a good game and a semifinal in Sydney, she has since gone through a free fall period. She was defeated in the first round in the Australian Open, where she was the second favorite to the trophy, by a player from outside the WTA 100 ranking.

A spiral of helplessness

Then came the tournament in Dubai where Halep made her mark in 2015. There she was also eliminated in the first match by the Serb player Ana Ivanovici. The latest disillusion for fans of the Romanian tennis player was the recent defeat in the Premier tournament held at Doha in Qatar. Halep played against the Russian Elena Vesnina, no. 118 WTA, an excellent player in the doubles but no remarkable achievements in singles.

There Halep was also on a downward spiral. After winning the first set, the second one seemeda mere formality considering the 4-1 score in her favor, Halepmentally collapsed. Vesnina took advantage and won 6-4, and in the decisive one Simona Halep completely surrendered, being crushed 6-1.

The fall in the WTA ranking seems dangerous

Halep will fall to the 5th position in the WTA rankings next Monday.

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Unfortunately for her, the following tournament where she has to defend the points earned over the past year is the one in the Premier Mandatory category held in Indian Wells. Halep triumphed there last year, so she will have to defend almost 1000 points in the ranking. A potential premature exit from the competition would only further affect her place in the ranking.

For the ones who regularly watch Simona Halep’s games, a change in the player’s attitude is easily noticeable. She is nervous all the time and the joy of the game seems to have disappeared.

A bizarre, predictable, and chaotic game

Her game is far from what it used to be over the past two years. Although some forehand hits still confirm her value, her strategy in tackling lengthier rallies is faulty. A lot of the returned balls are soft, right in the middle of the court. Thus the opponent, whoever she may be, is not pressured, and once the initiative is surrendered, it's hard to win a tennis match only by defending from behind the baseline.

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