Now that 2017 Wimbledon Championships is done, the WTA professional tour has another leader in women's singles circuit as Karolina Pliskova emerged at the summit.But, the battle isn't over yet now that the calendar is moving on the North American hardcourt swing with few big tournaments ahead. At the top, the gap is rather thin, and Simona Halep will try to squeeze something out of this particular situation. The Romanian tennis star came within a single match range of clinching the world no. 1. She failed at her first attempt as she went on losing the French Open final to Jelena Ostapenko. Several weeks later, she succumbed against Johanna Konta in Wimbledon quarterfinals.

Simona Halee to play City Open in Washington

While the vast majority of the WTA stars are heading towards Stanford for a Premier category event, Simona Halep made a different choice by accepting a wild0card from City Open's organizers. A WTA International event Halep intends to use as a launching pad to her hard court season. Sloane Stephens is also expected to resume her professional career at this event. A former top 10 players, she has been dealing with injuries and surgeries over the past season or so.

Although unexpected, Simona Halep's decision to cut short her vacation has some background. Last year, she did great during North American swing winning in Canada (Premier 5) while in Cincinnati she lost in the semis to Angelique Kerber. US Open, the fourth Grand Slam of the season, saw Halep reaching the quarterfinals where she lost to Serena Williams.

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So, there a re a lot of points to defend. But, a similar scenario is in place for Kerber or Pliskova. If Halep will keep her head above the weather and match last year's result, she is likely to clinch the world no. One after US Open or even earlier.

Once again, the clay swing helped her to put things in motion

The past two seasons saw Halep having a slow start in Australian and during the first hard court swing. But, once the action moved on to the clay court, her inner flame got more and more visibility. In 2017, she has been the dominant player on clay winning in Madrid while in Rome and Roland Garros she finished as a runner-up. She was able to keep up her momentum while changing to grass. She made it to the last eight stages both in Eastbourne and Wimbledon. Let's see if her constant pace will survive to another change of surface now that Wimbledon is over. The current season has Halep with a 30-9 win/loss ratio which is quite unusual given the fact that she wasted the first four months of the year.