With the WTA regular season approaching its end, the best 8 players headed to Singapore for a final clash. The battle has high stakes with lots of ranking points as well as huge amount of cash being put on the table. In women`s singles, the opening act putSimona Halep (4 WTA) and Madison Keys ( 7 WTA) face to face. With Serena Williams out of the contest, Keys remained the only American hope in Singapore. Surely, it was an extra burden for her to bear. The 21-year-old hope is well known for her moody performances when being put under such amount of pressure.

Simona Halep did everything by the book.

Simona Halep is already at her 3rd appearance in a row in Singapore. Her breakthrough back in 2014 was nothing more than the tippingpoint of her career. At that edition, she made it to the final where she was outshined by a revengeful Serena. Last year, she also made a good start with a win against Flavia Pennetta but then succumbed.

In today`s match, the picture was a little bit different. She followed Darren Cahill`s script in the most vivid way by not letting Madison Keys to step inside the baseline. With that strategy working well, she neutralized almost all of Keys` firepower. Halep also stepped into this match with a huge leverage by having won the previous 4 meetings with Keys.

The opening set was rather balanced in its first part but the longer experience of Halep turned out to be the decisive factor. She took the strings in her hands and dismantled Madison Keys in an impressive manner by winning the first set 6-2.

The 2nd set was pretty much the same with Halepacting as the rainmaker.

The young American star had her moments of hope when she leveled the score by breaking on Halep`s serve. It was not enough as Simona immediately broke back and then served for the match, later claiming the set 6-4.

For Halep, the real test is right ahead.

With a solid performance in the opening match, Simona Halep has to reflect more about the next encounter as she is scheduled to face Angelique Kerber- the new world leader of the WTA Tour.

In head to head meetings, Halep still has the upper hand and leads4-3. But Kerber is nothing like Keys as the German has a solid mindset when she steps on the Tennis court. Her solid mental background is enhanced with an amazing physical yield.

Their previous meetings were genuine displays of power and resilience. For Halep there is one more glitch to be dealt with. When their previous met, Kerber was not the world no. 1. That might weigh heavily as Halep has had quite an inferiority complex when Serena was at the top.

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