Simona Halep to end 2018 as world number one

Simona Halep Moscow Kremlin Cup

This year Halep has won the Shenzhen Open and the Rogers Cup presented by Banque Nationale in Montréal as well as her debut Grand Slam crown at Roland Garros.

The American also won her first Premier-level event in Miami earlier this year and rose to a career-high ranking of three in July.

The 25-year-old, who will make her bow at the year-end championships, is the sixth singles player to qualify, after Simona Halep, Angelique Kerber, Naomi Osaka, Petra Kvitova and defending champion Caroline Wozniaki.

"I haven't practiced 100 percent yet but today, tomorrow, I will do close to 100 and I will be able to know better the next day", she continued. She has been at the top of the rankings for nearly the entire year even though her results had suffered as the season wore on.

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The Romanian player did not mention her back injury or whether it would affect her appearance in the WTA Finals, which are scheduled to cap off the season on October 21 with a showdown in Singapore between the top eight players.

"I'm looking forward to. competing against the best players of the season".

"I had many attempts to become No 1 and it was really tough mentally to keep believing that it would happen one day, but then it was really tough to stay there because I felt the pressure at every tournament", she said.

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova will play Simona Halep in the second round of the Kremlin Cup after beating Ajla Tomljanovic in straight sets. She followed up her first major title by losing in the third round at Wimbledon and first round at the US Open.

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