The world certainly hasn’t been kind to two-time Grand Slam champion Simona Halep lately, as her dynasty abruptly ended when the ITIA ruled her guilty of violating anti-doping regulations.

As a consequence, the 31-year old was sentenced to a four year ban.

Since then, news of her provisional exile has been the talk of the town, with many sports fans and figures either slamming or cheering her on social media. Her previous nemeses on the tennis court, Serena Williams and Jelena Jankovic, however, were on the former side. On their respective X (formerly Twitter) accounts, they posted cryptic and snide remarks that were seemingly directed at Halep.

On September 13, shortly after Halep’s suspension was confirmed, Williams posted a cryptic one-sentence post on her X account:

“8 is a better number.”


While this may have been entirely about something else, fans are convinced that this post alludes to Halep’s doping case. 

Four years ago, the two went head to head for the Wimbledon title, and to everyone’s surprise, Halep had beaten Williams 6-2, 6-2, denying her what could have been her eighth Wimbledon title. This was also a historic moment for Halep, as she had just captured her first championship at the All-England club and became the first Romanian to do so.

So far, there have been two interpretations of William’s post. One is that Halep should also be stripped of her titles, forfeit her Wimbledon title, and give it to its rightful owner, Williams. The second is that Halep should have been given an eight-year ban instead of four.

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Although some fans are now raising their eyebrows over Serena’s post, some X users were quick to defend her:

@jowanabueser: “Serena is allowed to throw all the shade because she has been the subject of doping rumors for years and never once tested positive. Hell, she has undergone random drug tests more than any of her peers. And stop calling Halep her rival. 24 to 2 is not a rivalry.”

@Marcuucram: “Shock of the day is definitely NOT Serena Williams showing her true colours. To my mind, she was never a great champion in terms of attitude on and off the court. Today I am saddened but by no means surprised to confirm my perception of her feeble humanity.


Meanwhile, Jelena Jankovic, has also been involved in the issue lately. An X user, @Brar_JSB, posted a message in the words of Jankovic:Jelena Jankovic on Simona Halep’s 4 year ban:

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“People refused to admit it but I always knew I was the rightful winner of Indian Wells 2015. Simona’s ban today proves it. Shoutout to my fans for keeping #JankovicWonIW15 relevant”


And, while this message couldn’t really have come from Jankovic herself, it perfectly captures the sentiments of fans who have been rallying against Halep in the past few days.

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