Tennis

Miami Open: Simona Halep Beaten On Comeback From Doping Ban By Paula Badosa

Halep, who won Wimbledon in 2019, tested positive for the blood-boosting drug Roxadustat at the US Open in 2022 and was handed the lengthy suspension

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Mike Egerton/PA
Simona Halep lost in three sets to Paula Badosa. Photo: Mike Egerton/PA
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Simona Halep was beaten on her return from a doping ban, going down in three sets to Paula Badosa at the Miami Open. (More Tennis News)

The Romanian, a two-time grand slam winner who spent 64 weeks as world number one, was playing her first match since the Court of Arbitration for Sport reduced her suspension from four years to nine months.

Halep looked like she had never been away as she raced away with the first set in just 38 minutes.

But Badosa, herself a former world number two, dug in to win 1-6 6-4 6-3.

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Halep, who won Wimbledon in 2019, tested positive for the blood-boosting drug Roxadustat at the US Open in 2022 and was handed the lengthy suspension last September.

She appealed to CAS and, following a hearing last month, the court dramatically reduced the 32-year-old’s ban, allowing her to resume her career.

The ring-rust was evident when Halep, playing her first match in 18 months, lost the opening game to love and then double-faulted her first serve.

But an ace helped her to a hold and she promptly reeled off six games in a row to take control.

Yet Badosa broke early in the second and held on despite some fierce pressure to take the match to a decider.

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