Beaten Australian Open finalist Simona Halep is reported to have been hospitalised following her gruelling three-set loss to Caroline Wozniacki.
The lion-hearted Romanian put up an incredible fight in Saturday night’s title decider but was unable to deny Wozniacki her first grand slam title with the Dane prevailing 7-6 (7-2) 3-6 6-4.
There was more drama to follow for Halep, who was taken to hospital for treatment for dehydration and exhaustion, according to an ESPN report.
During its broadcast of the men’s final on Sunday, ESPN showed an image of Halep in a hospital bed with a drip in her arm.
She is reported to have been treated for about four hours before being discharged on Sunday morning.
Hampered by an ankle issue throughout the tournament, Halep revealed she had also injured the tendons in her feet during a testing fortnight at Melbourne Park.
Halep spent 14 hours and 19 minutes on court across her seven matches, some of which were played in searing heat.
The enormous physical effort had clearly taken its toll during the second set of the final when Halep called for the tournament physio and had her pulse and blood pressure checked.
“The body was not ready because I had so many long matches … but mentally I was ready,” Halep said after the final.
“I feel that I can face any challenge. I can play against anyone. I can win against anyone.
“But just sometimes is not how you want because you cannot physically do it.”
Commentating for ESPN, tennis great Chris Evert said Halep’s coach, Australian Darren Cahill, had expressed concerns about her fitness during a hallway chat earlier that day.
“He said she’s really excited … but the tank is getting lower and lower with each match,” Evert said.
“I’m amazed at how well she’s holding up with all the matches that she’s played.”