Singapore - Slovak tennis player Dominika Cibulkova has kept her hopes alive of reaching the last four of the WTA Finals in Singapore by defeating Simona Halep in straight sets on Thursday.
In their Red Group clash, Cibulkova defeated the Romanian 6-3, 7-6(5) in just under two hours having lost her first two matches in the event against top seed Angelique Kerber and America's Madison Keys.
The Slovak must now wait on the outcome of the later match between Kerber and Keys to see if she progresses. If Keys wins a set against the unbeaten top seed, then she is through with Kerber.
In the opening set, Cibulkova was on fire from the word go, looking far more determined than her opponent and led 3-0 in just ten minutes after breaking Halep's serve in the second game of the match.
Things proceeded with no more breaks for Cibulkova to claim the opening set 6-3 in just 30 minutes with an ace down the middle.
World number eight Cibulkova carried on taking the match to Halep in the second set by breaking serve in the opening game, but the Romanian broke right back to make it 1-1.
As the match progressed, there were two further service breaks apiece and the set needed to be decided by a tiebreak.
The players changed ends in the breaker with the points tied at 3-3 but a mini-break by Cibulkova gave her the set and match 7-6 after winning the tiebreak 7-5.
Results from the WTA Finals tournament in Singapore on Thursday (x denotes seeding):
Round-robin stage Red Group
Dominika Cibulkova (SVK x7) bt Simona Halep (ROM x3) 6-3 7-6 (7-5)
Angelique Kerber (GER x1) bt Madison Keys (USA x6) 6-3 6-3