Simona Halep’s bid for a first WTA Finals title ended Friday at the hands of Elina Svitolina. The Ukranian eased past the World No. 1 with a 6-3, 6-4 victory. However like Halep, Svitolina also failed to make the semifinals out of the Red Group.
“I had nothing to lose, and I was playing for my fans and for the people who were supporting me during all this week. I had very good support, lots of people with Ukrainian flags – it does not always happen, [people] screaming and cheering for me,” Svitolina said.
“Those guys, as well, who are back in Ukraine who were supporting me this week. It means a lot to me, and I was playing today for them.”
Halep had to win to advance after Caroline Garcia stunned Caroline Wozniacki earlier in the day.
“I think I played better than Wozniacki’s match, and this was my goal, actually. Of course, I did everything I could and I wanted to win it, but just didn’t happen,” Halep said. “She played really well, and she deserved to win. I’m not sad. Of course, I’m upset that I lost, but it’s been a great year and I’m happy to go to the holiday now.”
Halep can still finish No. 1 if and only if Karolina Pliskova does not win the title. If Pliskova wins the event, she gets No. 1.
“I found out I’m close to finish No. 1. I thought I would be like No.4 after this tournament, but now I have a good chance,” Halep said. “It was really good that I could touch the No. 1 this year. It was my goal, so I’m okay.
“I’m in the same position like Karolina was in Wimbledon. I will just wait. I’m not thinking about being No.1. I’m telling the truth. I will wait and we will see who is going to finish.”
Garcia went down early before beating Wozniacki 0-6, 6-3, 7-5 to win the Red Group.
Tomorrow in the semifinals, Garcia will meet former champion Venus Williams and Pliskova takes on Wozniacki. Garcia and Venus have split their two prior meetings.
Wozniacki leads Pliskova 5-3.
All four players finished the round robin group 2-1. Williams was the only former champion to start the event.
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