Halep reaches Qatar semis then withdraws injured

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DOHA, Qatar (AP) Simona Halep reached the Qatar Open semifinals with a dominating win then promptly withdrew with a right foot injury on Friday.

After beating American qualifier Catherine Bellis 6-0, 6-4, Halep announced her withdrawal from the semis on Saturday, when she was scheduled to play Garbine Muguruza.

Muguruza beat Caroline Garcia of France 3-6, 6-1, 6-4 in the quarterfinals.

No. 2-ranked Halep could have regained the No. 1 ranking this week if she went one round further than top-ranked Caroline Wozniacki.

Wozniacki, the Australian Open champion, was playing Angelique Kerber of Germany in the quarterfinals.

“I am surprised that I could play three matches and win them,” Halep, the 2014 champion, said. “I felt pain every day, so it was not easy to manage it.

“I didn’t have much time to recover before this tournament, but today was too much, and I decided to stop.

“The MRI shows I have fluid and also tendinitis at the fourth toe, so I have to take care of it and think about my health first.”

Halep also withdrew from next week’s Dubai Open, another tournament she has won, and said she did not expect to be back on court for more than two weeks, until Indian Wells.

Halep relinquished No. 1 after losing to Wozniacki in the Australian Open final.