SINGAPORE - World No. 8 Dominika Cibulkova beat fourth-ranked Simona Halep 6-3, 7-6 (7-4) at the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore on Thursday (Oct 27) to keep her semi-final hopes alive.
The Slovak needed to win in straight sets in her final group match for a chance to reach the last four of the US$7 million (S$9.75 million) season-ender presented by SC Global.
She started the match in fine form, breaking Halep early and winning 12 straight points to lead 3-0 in the first set.
After overpowering the Romanian with her fast-paced strokes, Cibulkova held her nerve in a tight second set to eventually prevail.
Her win means world No. 1 Angelique Kerber of Germany, who is undefeated in the Red Group so far, progresses to the knock-out round. Halep, a finalist in 2014, has been eliminated from this year's tournament.
Cibulkova, who had lost to the Kerber and No. 7 Madison Keys in her earlier group stage matches, will reach the semi-finals only if Kerber beats Keys in straight sets in the second singles match on Thursday at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
But if the American takes a set off Kerber, she will advance to the semi-finals at the expense of Cibulkova.