Ash Barty has requested that Simona Halep be allowed to play the opening women's singles match at Wimbledon this year, suggests the Australian's former coach Craig Tyzzer.
Former world No. 1 Barty, who retired from tennis in March aged 25, opened Wimbledon at the 2021 edition despite not being the defending champion at the time.
The Grand Slam was cancelled in 2020 due to Covid-19 and 2019 champion Halep could not participate last year due to injury.
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Barty said after her three-set victory over Carla Suarez Navarro on Centre Court that she wished Halep was playing the opening match instead of her.
“With all my heart I wish Simo was here to do it [start on Centre Court] herself," she told the BBC.
"She’s a champion. She’s earned the right to open this court To be given the honour when I haven’t fully deserved it, I wanted to come out here and pay respect to that."
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With defending champion Barty no longer competing on the tour, her former coach Craig Tyzzer has hinted that the Queenslander has requested that Halep gets to play the opener.
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Replying to a tweet from the Tennis Podcast, tennis analyst and Halep’s former coach Darren Cahill wrote: “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.”
Tyzzer responded: “Totally agree Killer and I think someone may have already requested it,” followed by a winking face emoji.
Cahill wrote: “That would be awesome. Quite typical of that someone.”
All England Club chairman Ian Hewitt said in April no decision had been made about who would open play on the Tuesday, but that it would be "the world No 1, runner-up or other prominent players."
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Watch daily highlights from Wimbledon at 10pm on Eurosport 2 and discovery+ from June 27, as well as the two singles finals live on July 9 and 10.
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