Beaten Halep calms injury concerns ahead of French Open

World number one Simona Halep appeared hampered by injury in Rome, but she insists there is no lasting issue ahead of the French Open.

Simona Halep addresses her medical team in the Rome final   -  Getty Images

Simona Halep played down the back issue that hampered her during the Internazionali d'Italia final defeat to Elina Svitolina, insisting she is not carrying an injury ahead of the French Open.

The world number one was looking to head to Roland Garros on a high as she chases her first grand slam victory, but she came up well short against defending champion Svitolina in Rome.

Halep looked to be struggling with injury in the 6-0 6-4 reverse and required a time-out for treatment at one stage, causing concern with a major tournament just around the corner.

But speaking at her news conference after the final, Halep attributed the problem to a lack of "freshness" due to a testing semi-final meeting with former number one Maria Sharapova.

"In the match [on Saturday], every time I play against Sharapova, the ball is coming very flat and I bend a lot so my back is a little bit sore," she said.

"But it's not about the injury. I was just not fresh enough to start the match better.

"I couldn't run and I knew that I had to run in this match. I didn't start well, I was rushing a little bit. She didn't miss and I missed in the first set. The match got better and I finished stronger."

And with Halep yet to win a grand slam, she acknowledges there are factors she must consider heading into the French Open.

"It's a little bit different - maybe the history makes it special," she said. "You feel the pressure more.

"Then there are more matches, you have one day off between matches, the atmosphere is different, there are many people - we cannot compare a normal tournament with a grand slam.

"But we should treat them all the same and, with experience, you can get there and treat it like a normal tournament."

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