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Halep pulls out of WTA tournament in Stuttgart

Romania's Simona Halep has pulled out of this week's WTA tournament in Stuttgart with a hip injury (AFP Photo/Geoffroy VAN DER HASSELT)

Berlin (AFP) - World number two Simona Halep has pulled out of this week's WTA tournament in Stuttgart with a hip injury.

Halep was scheduled to play her first match on Wednesday as part of a star-studded line-up which includes world number one Naomi Osaka and reigning Wimbledon champion Angelique Kerber.

However, the Romanian, who missed the end of last season with a back injury, announced her withdrawal on Tuesday after hurting her hip during a Fed Cup match against France's Caroline Garcia last weekend.

"It was against Garcia in the first set, when I fell down," Halep said. "I felt pain in the hip.

"If I'm not 100 percent, I don't want to step on the court. That's why I decided to pull out, because I have to think about my health first."

The 27-year-old, who has only played on clay in the Fed Cup so far this season, will now aim to return in time to play in Madrid and Rome next month as she gears up for her French Open title defence.

Halep ended her long wait for a maiden Grand Slam trophy last year at Roland Garros, with the 2019 tournament to start on May 26.

"I'm flat emotionally after the Fed Cup and physically I have some problems," she said. "The hip has to recover quickly for the clay (season) because the game is very physical."