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Simona Halep is Still Miffed about her Australian Open Loss to Ekaterina Makarova

Simona Halep has still not completely gotten over her 6-4, 6-0 loss to Ekaterina Makarova at this year’s Australian Open, and maybe that’s a good thing. The 23-year-old Romanian was unceremoniously bageled out of the tournament against the Russian in the quarterfinals, and despite the fact that she turned the tables and notched a 6-3, 1-6, 7-5 victory over Makarova in the Dubai quarterfinals, Halep has still not let the deflating loss in January go.

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“You know, in Australia, I lost that match against Makarova [and] I didn't fight till the end,” Halep said. “I was very upset after the match, and I said that that one is the last match in my career that I'm not fighting.”

Halep, who will face Varvara Lepchenko in the third round at Indian Wells, has been dealing with injury issues as well as a heavy heart in the desert. Though she says she’s completely pain free from the rib injury that forced her to withdraw from Doha last month, she only began serving when she arrived in California after a ten-day rest and rehabilitation period.

But it will take time for Halep’s heavy heart to heal. News broke Monday that the Romanian had lost her cousin, Nicica Arghir, 29, to suicide. When asked about it after her victory over Daria Gavrilova on Friday, Halep said it was a difficult situation that she’d rather not discuss.

“It's a painful situation for everyone, for me and for the family, for my family,” Halep told press. “I just wanted to play this tournament because he loved tennis. He played many years tennis. So I just decided to stay here, because I think it was a little bit easier for me to pass this situation.

“It's hard to speak about this, and I just want to dedicate this match to him, because he loved tennis and he was very talented.”

Halep, who reached the semifinals at Indian Wells last season, will be in action against Lepchenko on Sunday.