WTA Finals: Simona Halep and Caroline Wozniacki make it look so easy in Red Group openers

Simona Halep (left) and Caroline Wozniacki (right) defeated Caroline Garcia and Elina Svitolina in the opening games of the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore Red Group. PHOTOS: DESMOND WEE

SINGAPORE - World No. 1 Simona Halep avenged her loss in the Beijing final with a 6-4, 6-2 win over Caroline Garcia on Monday (Oct 23).

Playing in the first Red Group match of the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore, the Romanian had led their head-to-head 2-1, but Frenchwoman Garcia won their last encounter two weeks ago at the final of the China Open.

The 24-year-old is also in fine form, having won 11 straight matches and back-to-back titles in Wuhan and Beijing.

On Monday at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, Halep earned the early break at 2-2 in the first set after a Garcia backhand landed in the net. But a double fault from Halep gave Garcia the break back.

Both players remained on serve, until two crucial double faults in the ninth game saw Halep break serve again.

Down 4-5, Garcia saved two set points - the first with a backhand service return winner down the line, the second after an unforced error from Halep. On the third set point, however, Halep then hit a backhand winner down the line to take the set 6-4.

The 26-year-old's momentum continued in the second set, where she again broke early and then saved two break points, gaining a 3-1 lead with a backhand winner into the open court.

The top seed then pulled away with another break of serve, and consolidated the break to serve out the match.

In the second match of the night, former world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki earned her first career win over WTA Finals debutante Elina Svitolina, thumping the latter 6-2, 6-0 in only an hour.

Wozniacki, making her first appearance at the season-ender since 2014, was the steadier of the two as she occasionally spun the ball high to introduce a change of pace to the pair's long rallies.

The Dane, ranked sixth in the world, earned a break point in the sixth game after a double fault from fourth-ranked Svitolina.

The 23-year-old Ukrainian then hit a forehand wide, and Wozniacki got the break and a 4-2 lead. The latter won the next two games after breaking her opponent again to win the set.

As errors started to fly off Svitolina's racket in the second set, there was no turning back for Wozniacki as she surged ahead. The 27-year-old kept the Ukrainian back at the baseline and ramped up her aggression when needed, winning 10 games in a row to seal victory.

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