Former U.S. Open champ Stephens qualifies for first WTA finals

Simona Halep Moscow Kremlin Cup

Former U.S. Open champ Stephens qualifies for first WTA finals

Halep will be presented with the trophy to mark her achievement at the WTA Finals in Singapore.

For the first time in her career, U.S. tennis player Sloane Stephens has qualified for the upcoming WTA Finals, the season ending, eight-woman tournament to be held in Singapore, the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) announced on Sunday.

"I'm really proud - it's wonderful that I have been able to do this", she said of her repeat appearances in Singapore, where later this month she will be presented with the WTA Year-End World No.1 trophy.

'I'm doing physio to try to make (my back) stronger, but I haven't practised 100 percent yet, ' Halep added.

"I'm looking forward to meeting the fantastic fans in Singapore, exploring the city, and competing against the best players of the season".

"So I don't know now but, for sure, I will take a decision for my health first".

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Dealing with a herniated disc, Halep is in Moscow this week to test out her back and get some match prep before Singapore. She has been at the top of the rankings for nearly the entire year even though her results had suffered as the season wore on.

Simona Halep in the season of 2018 only for four weeks was not the first racket of the world. She then went all the way at the Miami Open, storming past Muguruza, Kerber, Azarenka, and Ostapenko in the process. She also reached her second career Grand Slam final at Roland Garros, and made a runner-up finish at the Rogers Cup.

"I feel great. I feel very happy that I am on top two years in a row", Halep told a news conference at Moscow's Kremlin Cup, a joint ATP and WTA event.

"So it's pretty stressful but somehow it's normal because injuries are pretty normal when you play at the highest level".

The rest of the top-10 remained unchanged, as Alexander Zverev of Germany stayed at No. 5, followed by Marin Cilic of Croatia.

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