Halep first player to qualify for WTA Finals

Stephens crashes out, Pliskova through at Miami Open

World No.1 Simona Halep has become the first player to qualify for the year-end 2018 WTA Finals, which takes place in Singapore from October 21 to 28.

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This will be the 26-year-old Romanian’s fifth consecutive appearance in the tournament which is contested by eight singles players and eight doubles teams.

The singles event starts as a round robin event, split into two groups of four. Over the first four days of competition, each player meets the other three players in her group, with the top two in each group advancing to the semifinals.

Halep, who has won three titles this year – Shenzhen, French Open and Montreal’s Rogers Cup, said she was honoured to have already qualified for the Singapore event.

“It is such an honour to qualify again for the WTA Finals in Singapore,” said Halep. “I love coming to Singapore and I have so many great memories.

“I can’t wait to be back and play my best tennis in front of the amazing fans.”

The other players in the race to qualify, behind Halep on 6,316 points, are: German Angelique Kerber is second with 4,918 points, Denmark’s Caroline Wozniacki is third, then Petra Kvitova, Elina Svitolina, Sloane Stephens, Daria Kasatkina and Elise Mertens.