WTA Finals singles field set as Svitolina, Pliskova qualify

Simona Halep

The 26-year-old, who reached the doubles final in Singapore 12 months ago with Swede Johanna Larsson, said: "I'm very happy with my season and to finish it off at the WTA Finals is the ultimate prize". So it was a tough decision but it's better for my health.

On Wednesday, Halep had announced her withdrawal from the Kremlin Cup with a herniated disc that she suffered during the Wuhan Open earlier this month and that increased the doubts over her participation in the WTA Finals. Simona was forced to retire against Ons Jabeur at the start of Beijing and she had to withdraw from Moscow as well this week.

Over the years, Tennis Cambodia has seized upon this chance to send out emerging talent to expose them to the rigours of competition, which is also once-in-a-lifetime chance to meet the game's best and the greatest in friendly settings and also get a taste of how hard these top professionals train and compete. Actually, I think it's the first time in my life. I'm not ready to compete at this level and I'm still sore.

It has been a disappointing end to a spectacular season for Halep, which saw her secure the year-end No. 1 ranking in the WTA standings for the second year running. She then retired midway through her opening match in Shanghai.


Bertens, who made the cut following Halep's injury, will make her debut at the WTA Finals.

The other singles players who will be doing battle for a US$7-million (S$9.6m) prize purse here are Australian Open champion Caroline Wozniacki, US Open victor Naomi Osaka, Wimbledon champion Angelique Kerber, Petra Kvitova, Sloane Stephens, Karolina Pliskova and Elina Svitolina.

Kvitova has more titles this year than any other player, having won tournaments in St Petersburg, Doha, Prague, Madrid and Birmingham, while Svitolina and Pliskova joined Bertens in confirming qualification for Singapore this week.

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