Halep earns second successive year-end top ranking

Simona Halep of Romania plays a shot against Serena Williams of the US during the finals of the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) finals in Singapore on Oct 26, 2014 (AFP pic)

PARIS: French Open champion Simona Halep will finish the year as women’s world number one for the second season in a row, the WTA said on Monday.

The 27-year-old Romanian beat Sloane Stephens at Roland Garros to win her maiden Grand Slam title in June and will have spent 40 weeks at the top of the rankings by the end of the season.

“Finishing the season as the world number one last year was a huge honour for me,” Halep said in a WTA news release.

“To do it for a second time in 2018 feels like a special achievement, especially having also won my first Grand Slam this year.

“It’s really tough to keep (the number one spot) because the pressure is every tournament… I feel like I’ve played a good level of tennis and I was consistent… consistent and strong, mentally and physically.”

Halep is scheduled to play in Moscow this week before rounding out her season at the WTA Finals in Singapore but suffered a herniated disc in her back this month, casting doubt on her participation in both events.

“I’m doing physio to try to make (my back) stronger, but I haven’t practised 100% yet,” Halep added.

“If I can’t play here (in Moscow) I’m very doubtful that I will be able to play in Singapore… I don’t know now, but for sure I will take a decision for my health first.”