WTA FINALS

Cibulkova knocks Halep out of WTA Finals in Singapore

The Slovakian will have to wait to learn if she has done enough for a place in the semi-finals but Halep fell one set short of reaching the knock-out stage.

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Cibulkova knocks Halep out of WTA Finals in Singapore
EDGAR SU REUTERS

Slovakia's Dominika Cibulkova claimed her first victory at the WTA Finals on Thursday, beating Simona Halep of Romania 6-3 7-6 (7-5) in their last round-robin match.

Halep out

The result eliminated Halep from the $7 million tournament and ensured world number one Angelique Kerber a place in Saturday's semi-finals, regardless of the outcome of her match with Madison Keys.

Cibulkova waits for semi-final fate

Cibulkova, beaten in her first two Red Group matches, remained unsure of whether she would progress or not. The 27-year-old will qualify for the semis if Kerber beats Keys in straight-sets but if the American wins at least one set, she will go through instead.

Russia's Svetlana Kuznetsova had already booked her spot in the knockout rounds as the winner of the White Group. The defending champion, Agnieszka Radwanska plays US Open finalist Karolina Pliskova on Friday to decide the last semi-finalist in the elite eight-player event.

Halep one set short

Halep, a runner-up at the end-of-season championship two years ago, made a great start to the tournament with a comfortable win against Keys only to lose her last two matches in straight sets.

She only needed to win one set against Cibulkova to remain in contention for the playoffs but bowed out after dropping the first after just 29 minutes, hitting a forehand return over the baseline, then the second in a tiebreak with another return error.