Tennis: Top-ranked Simona Halep seals first spot in last edition of WTA Finals Singapore

Simona Halep is the only player to have qualified for all five editions of the WTA Finals since they have been held in Singapore.
Simona Halep is the only player to have qualified for all five editions of the WTA Finals since they have been held in Singapore.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

(REUTERS) - World No. 1 Simona Halep became the first player to qualify for the season-ending WTA Finals in Singapore, the Women's Tennis Association said on Monday (Aug 13).

The Romanian is the only player to have qualified for all five editions of the event since it has been held in Singapore and will look to win the title for the first time. Halep was beaten in the 2014 final by American Serena Williams.

"Simona has been one of the sport's most consistent and leading performers over the last few years. We look forward to seeing her competing to hold the prestigious Billie Jean King Trophy," WTA CEO and chairman Steve Simon said.

The top eight singles players at the US$7 million (S$9.6 million) event will face off in a round-robin format before the top two in each group advance to the semi-finals.

Halep won her maiden Grand Slam trophy at the French Open this year and claimed her third title of the season at the Rogers Cup by beating Sloane Stephens in the final on Sunday.

The WTA Finals will take place from Oct 21 to 28 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium before moving to Shenzhen in China in 2019 for 10 years, with the prize money being doubled.