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Halep should open Wimbledon play on Tuesday, suggests Ash Barty’s coach

Craig Tyzzer, the long-time former coach of Ash Barty, believes Halep is the perfect choice and indicates that her team may have requested the AELTC for the same

Romania's Simona Halep and Australia's Ashleigh Barty shake hands after their quarter final match at the Madrid Open 2019 Romania’s Simona Halep and Australia’s Ashleigh Barty shake hands after their quarter final match at the Madrid Open 2019 Image Credit: AI / Reuters / Panoramic

Every Grand Slam brings up several questions – which top players are playing and which ones are missing; what surprises will the draw throw up?; who will the predicted winners be? For the ladies singles draw at Wimbledon this year, there is one additional question.

One of Wimbledon’s biggest traditions is to let the men’s defending champion open first day’s play on Centre Court while the women’s defending champion gets to begin Centre Court proceedings on Tuesday. With last year’s women’s champ Ash Barty now retired, the All England Club is faced with an additional choice as to who should take Barty’s place.

And there are plenty of options – there’s Serena Williams, a seven-time singles champion and the Greatest of All Time according to many; there is Simona Halep, the 2019 champion and the last women to win the trophy before Barty; there’s Karolina Pliskova, the Czech who finished runner-up to Barty last year, and of course, there’s Iga Swiatek, the reigning world No 1 who is on a 35-match winning streak, which includes the French Open title.

While tennis fans await to see who takes Barty’s place this year, the Australian’s coach has backed the suggestion that Halep gets to do the honours. Halep was the last player prior to Barty to win the Venus Rosewater Dish and did not get the chance to defend her title (The 2020 Championships were cancelled due to the pandemic and the Romanian pulled out of the 2021 edition due to injury).

Earlier this week, when The Tennis Podcast Twitter account asked its followers who should get the nod to open Tuesday’s proceedings, Darren Cahill, the former coach of Halep, replied, “This should be Simona Halep. Covid wiped out the 2020 championships & unable to play last year due to injury so Ash Barty was given the honour. With Ash retired, the privilege and honour should go back to Simo. She has earned it as 2019 champ.”

Responding to Cahill, Craig Tyzzer, the long-time coach of Barty, said he totally agrees with Cahill and implied that Barty’s team may have already requested the All England Club to let Halep do the honours this year.

Halep seems like a popular choice with many, including former world No 1 players Andy Roddick and Kim Clijsters and noted tennis journalist Ben Rothenberg.

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