Halep faces challengers at WTA finals

Women’s world No.1 Simona Halep says this year has been a “dream come true” but she won’t be focusing on trying to keep the top spot at the WTA’s year-end finals event in Singapore.

Seven of the eight players in Singapore have a chance to finish the year as No.1 but Halep says holding aloft the Billie Jean King trophy at the end of the week is what matters to her.

“The dream came true. (It) is just the best feeling that I ever had in my tennis career so far,” Halep said.

“(But) I play better when I’m not thinking about No.1 … I’m just going there to give my best, to try to be focused on what I have to play in each match and we will see at the end who is going to be No.1.”

The Romanian leads the Red group at the round-robin tournament, which begins on Sunday.

She’ll meet Elina Svitolina, Caroline Wozniacki and Caroline Garcia in the qualifying stages.

Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza, Karolina Pliskova, Venus Williams and French Open winner Jelena Ostapenko will do battle in a strong White group on the opposite side of the draw.

During the event, each player will play the others in their group, with the top two in each going through to a semi-final and then the final.

The event is missing some star power without the likes of Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova and Angelique Kerber.

However, new stars are beginning to make their mark, including Frenchwoman Garcia, who took the final spot in the tournament on the back of a red-hot swing through Asia at the back end of the season.

Garcia has won her past two tournaments, in the Chinese cities of Beijing and Wuhan, and has made the quarter-finals in Tokyo.

The Wuhan victory came after she defeated Australia’s Ashleigh Barty 6-7 7-6 6-2 in the final.

Her form hasn’t gone unnoticed and Wozniacki is among those impressed.

“She’s been playing really well lately and I need to be aggressive with her and keep her moving,” she said.

The event begins on Sunday, with Pliskova meeting Williams in the first match followed by Muguruza against Ostapenko.

* All Offers and Promotions posted in this article excludes NSW residents.
Stay up to date with the latest sports news
Follow our social accounts to get exclusive content and all the latest sporting news!