Halep overcomes back injury to reach quarters in Romania

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CLUJ-NAPOCA, Romania – Top-seeded Simona Halep overcame a back injury to defeat Varvara Gracheva of Russia 6-4, 6-2 and reach the quarterfinals of the Transylvania Open.

Second-seeded Anett Kontaveit and U.S. Open champion Emma Raducanu also had straight-set wins to advance to the last eight of the Romanian indoor event.

Halep, who missed Roland Garros, Wimbledon and the Tokyo Olympics due to a calf injury, was visibly hampered in her movement but capitalized on her strong serve and a number of unforced errors by Gracheva.

“The back got blocked and the pain is really big. You cannot really bend much and you cannot move,” Halep said. “I had this before many times and I just wanted to continue and finish the match.”

Halep next plays fellow Romanian Jacqueline Cristian.