Simona Halep lost only one game in the final two sets against Madison Keys. (Michael Regan/Getty Images)
ROME -- Hours after rallying to defeat Madison Keys 5-7, 6-0, 6-1 in the second round, No. 5 Simona Halep withdrew from the Italian Open because of an abdominal injury. She will return to Romania to get treatment and prepare for the French Open, which begins on May 25.
After dropping the first set to the young American, Halep raced to a 3-0 lead in the second set, but then called for the trainer. She won nine of the last 10 games to lock up the victory. The win secured Halep a career-high No. 4 WTA ranking next week, which means she will be seeded in the top four at the French Open.
Halep's withdrawal gives Carla Suarez Navarro a walkover into the quarterfinals. The Spaniard defeated Venus Williams 6-4, 6-2 earlier Wednesday.