Halep said the problem that caused her to quit her third-round match
felt different to the herniated disc she had suffered at the China Open
in Beijing a year ago which brought an early end to the Romanian's 2018
"It's lower back. I think it's more muscle, but I don't know yet
because I haven't checked it properly," said two-time Grand Slam
The world number six led Elena Rybakina by a break and looked on her
way to win the first set before her Kazakh opponent drew level.
During the changeover after the ninth game Halep took a medical
timeout for treatment to her back, but soon after the former world
number one retired while serving at 4-5, 30-30.
"At 4-4, 0-30 with the backhand, I had a sharp pain," Halep revealed.
"I don't know yet, but it looks a little bit different (to the injury I had before), but it's still the same zone.
"I started to play well this tournament. I'm disappointed it happened again with the back."
Halep remains in contention for one of the remaining six spots at the
year-end WTA Finals in Shenzhen and is uncertain how her injury will
affect the rest of her season.
She is entered in the China Open which will begin in Beijing at the weekend.
World number 50 Rybakina advances to her fifth quarter-final of the
season, her first at a premier-level tournament, where she will play
either Aryna Sabalenka or Kiki Bertens.
Results from the WTA tournament in Wuhan, China on Wednesday (x denotes seeding):
Elina Svitolina (UKR x3) bt Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS)6-4, 6-2
Ashleigh Barty (AUS x1) bt Sofia Kenin (USA x15) 6-3, 7-5
Petra Martic (CRO) bt Veronika Kudermetova (RUS) 6-3, 6-1
Elena Rybakina (KAZ) bt Simona Halep (ROU x4) 5-4, ret.
Aryna Sabalenka (BLR x9) bt Kiki Bertens (NED x6) 6-1, 7-6 (11/9)
Alison Riske (USA) bt Wang Qiang (CHN x8) 6-2, 6-1
Dayana Yastremska (UKR) bt Karolina Pliskova (CZE x2) 6-1, 6-4
Petra Kvitova (CZE x5) bt Sloane Stephens (USA x10) 6-3, 6-3