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French Open favourite Simona Halep in danger of missing the tournament with an ankle ligament injury

The Independent logo The Independent 25-05-2017 Luke Brown
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Tournament favourite Simona Halep could miss the French Open through injury after an ankle scan revealed ligament damage. The second Grand Slam of the season begins on Sunday.

The World No 4, who beat Kristina Mladenovic to win the Madrid Open at the beginning of the month, suffered the injury in the final of her next tournament, at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome last weekend.

Halep was in complete control of the match against Elina Svitolina, leading the first-set 5-2, when she rolled her right ankle sliding over what appeared to be a small hole in the Foro Italico stadium court.

A subsequent MRI scan has revealed that the Romanian has suffered ligament damage, which throws her participation at Roland-Garros into serious doubt.

Halep posted a photograph of herself receiving treatment to her ankle on her Instagram page and wrote: “Arriving early in Paris for treatment.

“The MRI scan shows a torn ligament from the fall in Roma. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for Roland Garros and will do everything possible to be ready.

“Doctors say it's 50-50 at the moment but it's made good improvement since Sunday. Thank you for all of the support the last few weeks. We are remaining very positive."

Halep was the bookmakers favourite ahead of the injury update, ahead of Svitolina (7/1), last year’s champion Garbiñe Muguruza (10/1), Mladenovic (12/1) and the 2009 winner Svetlana Kuznetsova (14/1). Great Britain’s Johanna Konta can be backed at 25/1.

Halep has been in superb form this season, with many tipping the 25-year-old to go on and win her first Grand Slam this year. She previously reached the final at Roland-Garros in 2014, but lost to Maria Sharapova.

The French Tennis Federation (FFT) will be desperately hoping that Halep can recover from her injury in time to play in the first round of the tournament considering that the women’s singles has already lost a number of high-profile stars.

Three-time Roland-Garros champion Serena Williams will be missing after announcing her pregnancy, while Sharapova was controversially denied a wildcard by FFT president Bernard Giudicelli.

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