Halep latest to qualify for WTA Finals

Mon Sep 15, 2014 11:35pm EDT
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By Patrick Johnston

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - World number two Simona Halep has become the third player to book her place at the WTA Tour's season ending Finals tournament in Singapore next month.

The Romanian joins world number one and U.S. Open champion Serena Williams and Russian Maria Sharapova in booking places at the $6.5 million event for the top eight women over the season.

The 22-year-old has won the Qatar Open and her home Bucharest Open events this year to take her career tally to eight WTA titles and she also finished runner-up to Sharapova at the French Open.

Halep, who started the year ranked 11th in the world, made the last four at Wimbledon but was knocked out in the third round at the U.S. Open last month.

"It has always been a dream of mine to compete in the WTA Finals," Halep said in a statement on Tuesday. "I've had great success this year, and I'm looking forward to competing against the best players in the world in Singapore."

The WTA Finals switches to Singapore for the first time this year and will be held at the country's Indoor Stadium, which forms part of their new $1 billion Sports Hub.

Agnieszka Radwanska, Petra Kvitova, Li Na, Eugenie Bouchard and Ana Ivanovic currently hold the remaining qualifying places for the Oct. 17-26 event with U.S. Open runner up Caroline Wozniacki just outside the top eight.

(Editing by Greg Stutchbury)

Aug 29, 2014; New York, NY, USA;  Simona Halep (ROU) returns a shot to Mirjana Lucic-Baroni (CRO) on the Grandstand Court on day five of the 2014 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports