Simona Halep clinched a spot in the year-end Singapore event after cruising past American Madison Keys 6-4, 6-2 to reach the Wuhan semifinals.
“It means a lot to qualify for the WTA Finals Singapore – it was one of my goals this year,” said Halep. “It will be my third time in a row competing at the WTA Finals and I hope I play great. I have great memories from 2014 and am confident I can do well. I will be very focused.”
Halep has now won four straight over Keys and was never in trouble in the match.
“It was a great match for me,” Halep said. “I played really well; I knew she would be very tough because she’s strong and serves really well. But I was moving well and I enjoyed my time on court.”
In the semis, Halep will face 2-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova. The Czech Kvitova blew past British No. 1 Johanna Konta 6-3, 6-4.
“I served better than yesterday and that helped me a lot. I mean, without a serve it’s almost impossible to win a match, especially as it was only one break in each set,” Kvitova said. “It was difficult mentally as well to come back from yesterday – I definitely don’t feel 100% yet.”
Halep beat Kvitova earlier in the year in Fed Cup.
“We haven’t played for a while. I saw the score and she played great today, but it’s a new day and I will do everything possible, try my best,” Kvitova added. “I lost to her last time so I have something to work on for tomorrow. I know how well she’s playing so I need to be ready.”
In the other semifinal, Svetlana Kuznetsova will battle Dominika Cibulkova.
Kuznetsova, who ousted defending champion Venus Williams earlier in the week, overcame a bad first set and a match point to deny Agnieszka Radwanska 1-6, 7-6(9), 6-4.
“I was getting better as the match was going on. Aga played well in the first set, but I wasn’t moving so well,” said Kuznetsova. “In the second set I wasn’t playing my best game. But I was trying to stay in there, trying to fight, trying to be smart and turn things around.
“Then I served good in the third set and took control of the game. I don’t know how many match points I saved, I was just trying to play normal points as it was very even. I had some set points, so I was just trying to stay calm.”
Kuznetsova was down 2-0 in the final set before winning five of the last six games.
Due to rain on Wednesday, Dominika Cibulkova had to win two matches and she did just that, beating US Open finalist Karolina Pliskova and then in the quarters she went three sets to defeat Barbora Strycova 6-3, 3-6, 6-4.
“Today was an extremely tough day,” Cibulkova said. “I would say, one of the toughest situations of this year. It gives me great confidence, that I was able to play and have energy.”
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