A precautionary pullout due to knee pain has not dulled the optimism of Simona Halep as the former No. 1 returns to tennis after overturning an erroneous doping ban.

The 32-year-old Romanian withdrew from a minor event in Portugal due to knee pain suffered during training on the clay.

She is expected to be fit for the Masters date starting later this month in Madrid.

Meanwhile, the double Grand Slam champion has expressed her career optimism to the AP.

She resumed her interrupted career in mid-March, returning to the main draw at the Miami Masters where she lost her opening match to Paula Badosa.

 “I’m not so young any more, what I went through is not easy,” she said. “So I can’t forget it. 

“There is baggage that will probably stay longer, and I can’t forget from one day to the next, what happened.”

She added: “I have to control my emotions… so there are many things that are not easy. But joy, I hope, will help me.” 

Halep said that her comeback to competition was pure joy: “I felt as if I had never been away, it  was a great feeling, a great energy, and deep down I felt very happy to be part of tennis again, this sport that I love so much. 

“For me it was a great experience, much better than I expected.”

Main photo:- Simona Halep lost to close friend Paula Badosa in Miami – by WTATennis.com