Simona Halep second to qualify for the WTA Finals

The world number two has qualified for the tournament in Singapore for the fourth straight year.

Simona Halep second to qualify for the WTA Finals
Halep with her Madrid title (NurPhoto/Getty Images)

Simona Halep became the second player to qualify for the WTA Finals this year after Garbiñe Muguruza. She is one of five players to qualify for Singapore today, joining Elina Svitolina, Karolina Pliskova, and Venus Williams to join a stacked field.

This is the fourth consecutive year Halep has qualified. Her best showing came in her breakout 2014 season where she made the final, losing to Serena Williams.

Slow Starts

It wasn't the best of times for Halep to open the season. In her first four tournaments of the year, she failed to win back-to-back matches which included early exits at both the Australian Open and Indian Wells to Shelby Rogers and Kristina Mladenovic respectively. 

She finally picked up her first win streak of the season at the second half of the Sunshine Double in Miami, getting all the way to the quarterfinals before getting ousted by Johanna Konta

Dancing in the Dirt

The European clay season provided much better solace for the world number two. She made the semifinals in Stuttgart and followed that up with back-to-back finals in Madrid and Rome. She claimed her first title of the year in the Spanish capital, outsing Mladenovic in three sets but fell to Elina Svitolina in Rome.

She looked like she was ready to exit the French Open, looking down and out to Svitolina. She turned it around in that match though to knock out the Ukrainian and followed that up with a victory over Pliskova to meet Jelena Ostapenko in the final.

As the favorite, Halep looked strong in the opening set of the Roland Garros final but some stellar hitting from the Latvian denied the Romanian her first Grand Slam title.

Halep and Ostapenko with their French Open trophies (Tim Clatyon/Corbis/Getty Images)
Halep and Ostapenko with their French Open trophies (Tim Clatyon/Corbis/Getty Images)

Some Sort of Summer Lovin

The Romanian made the quarterfinals of Wimbledon, losing to Johanna Konta in a thriller. She took a long layoff like most player and returned to the North American hard courts in Washington DC. She struggled in the hear, retiring to Ekaterina Makarova at the Citi Open.

Her run in Toronto ended in the semifinals, getting blasted off the court by an in-form Svitolina who went on to win the title and the same happened in Cincinnati as Muguruza outclassed the Romanian to capture the title. 

In a blockbuster first round showdown, Halep drew Maria Sharapova in her opening match of the US Open. Down a set, the world number two found a way back but some brilliant hitting from Sharapova helped her get through. Halep was ousted in her opening match at the Wuhan Open to Daria Kasatkina  to kick off her Asian swing.

Tennis