Kerber turns on the style to overwhelm Halep
By John O'Brien
SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Angelique Kerber produced a polished display to claim her second straight win at the WTA Finals with a 6-4 6-2 victory over Simona Halep on Tuesday, the world number one virtually booking a spot in the semi-finals of the elite eight-woman event.
In the second Red Group encounter, Madison Keys claimed her first win of the tournament in a battle between debutants when the American used her powerful forehand to overpower Slovakia's Dominika Cibulkova 6-1 6-4.
Kerber (2-0), who beat Cibulkova in her first match on Sunday, was at her resilient best against Halep (1-1), standing firm when her opponent threatened and putting her foot on the accelerator when she sniffed an opportunity to pull away.
The German entered the match trailing Halep, who thrashed Keys in her Red Group opener, 4-3 in their head-to-head meetings but the 28-year-old showed flashes of the form that brought her two grand slam titles in 2016.
"I'm feeling very, very good here and it's just great to win my second match here playing my best tennis," Kerber said. "I'm trying to enjoy all my matches here and I hope the spectators can enjoy it as well."
Kerber came out flying, pushing Halep all around the court with her pinpoint groundstrokes to manufacture an immediate break, which the German consolidated with a gutsy hold after the Romanian set about attacking her opponent's second serve.
Halep was struggling to contain Kerber's main weapon, her whipped forehand, and while the world number four's athleticism and speed around the court kept her in the rallies, the German left-hander continued to dictate the early exchanges.