The WTA Finals is back at the Singapore Indoor Stadium for the third year running and despite the absence of top gun Serena Williams, fans still got to enjoy a spectacular showcase of tennis action.
Simona Halep in action against USA’s Madison Keys. Photo: Action Images
World number four Simona Halep kicked off the action and proved too much to handle for USA’s Madison Keys, easily dispatching the American 6-2, 6-4.
“I think I played exactly what I had to play against her,” said Halep. “I was focused, everything went as I wanted, so I’m happy with the way that I played.”
For Angelique Kerber, who currently stands at the top of the leaderboard, the German found herself pushed to her limits by Slovak Dominika Cibulkova, but eventually recorded a 7-6(5), 2-6, 6-3 win.
“I think it was a really good match from both of us, especially the first set. It was really close, and I think we played over one hour,” said Kerber.
Germany's Angelique Kerber celebrates during her round robin match at the WTA Finals. Photo: Action Images
“For me, that gives me a lot of confidence to win such a match after the last few weeks. It’s great to start the tournament with a match and win like this where you know you had to play your best in this important situation.”
The WTA Future Stars event, organised to develop emerging talent in the region, saw two new champions crowned. Violet Apisah of Australia took home top honours in the Under-16 competition after triumphing over Shivani Amineni 7-5, 6-4 in a closely fought match.
In the Under-14 competition, Shioro Ito of Japan clinched victory from the hands of Olesya Kim after a poor start, eventually beating the Ukranian 4-6, 6-2, 10-3.
Apart from sporting action, the opening day of the season-ending event also featured acts from American singer-songwriter Sophie Beem and participants from the ActiveSG Tennis Academy
, who performed a demonstration on event decorum.
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