Singapore - Simona Halep says she is relishing being the world No 1 after
delivering an ominous warning to her rivals at the WTA Finals with a
crushing, straight-sets victory over the in-form Caroline Garcia on
In her opening round robin match at the eight-player
season finale, Halep halted Garcia's 11-match winning streak with a 6-4,
6-2 masterclass in 88 minutes at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
was sweet revenge for the recently crowned world No 1 from
Romania, who lost to France's Garcia in this month's China Open final in
Halep, who received the top billing a day before the
final in Beijing, said she enjoyed winning her first match as the world No 1.
"I feel happy. I feel great winning the first match in the
first tournament coming in as number one," she told reporters after the
"It's a nice thing that I can be number one at the end of
the year but it is not the most important thing in this moment for me. I
just want to win the matches that I'm playing here."
world number eight, had secured the last spot for Singapore after
winning back-to-back titles in Wuhan and Beijing, but she was thoroughly
outclassed in her debut WTA Finals match.
"I'm disappointed about the loss," Garcia said. "It was not the way I wanted but it's not over yet."
a match-up of contrasting styles and sizes - with the 1.77m Frenchwoman holding a 9cm height advantage - Garcia attempted to
dictate through her powerful groundstrokes.
Garcia also mixed up her game with an array of deft drop shots and volleying to have Halep on the back foot early on.
Halep's famed defensive prowess and precision hitting soon told and she
broke to love in the fifth game. Even though she was subsequently
broken back, Halep gained in confidence and eventually claimed the
decisive break in the ninth game when a rattled Garcia double-faulted.
clinched the opening set through a superb backhand winner down the
line. She continued to press home the advantage with an early break in
the second set and thwarted Garcia's bid for a bold comeback.
three break points in the fourth game, Halep brilliantly reeled off
five straight points to restore her initiative and she breezed through
the second set in 38 minutes.
Result from the round robin stage of the WTA Finals tennis in Singapore on Monday (x denotes seeding):
Simona Halep (ROM x1) bt Caroline Garcia (FRA x8) 6-4, 6-2