SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Simona Halep was able to shake off the disappointment of a third consecutive early exit from the WTA Finals by focusing on a positive year that led to the 26-year-old old Romanian climbing to the top of the world rankings.
Halep needed to beat an already-eliminated Elina Svitolina in her third and final round-robin match to reach the semi-finals of the elite eight-woman event, but a tense performance ended in a disappointing 6-3 6-4 loss to the Ukrainian on Friday.
“It’s a good feeling that it’s over because it’s been like a marathon the last months, with many things happening and also a bit of pressure,” Halep, who was thrashed by Caroline Wozniacki after beating Caroline Garcia earlier this week, told reporters.
“So, yeah, I think I played better than in the Wozniacki match (when she lost 6-0 6-2) and this was my goal, actually. I did everything I could and I wanted to win it, but just didn’t happen.
“She (Svitolina) played really well, and she deserved to win. I’m not sad. Of course I’m upset that I lost, but it’s been a great year and I’m happy to go (on) holiday now.”
Halep lost to Serena Williams in the 2014 final the first time the event was held in Singapore but has since fallen in her final pool match three times in a row but admitted she was able to get over the latest letdown pretty quickly.
“After seven minutes. In the locker room I said that it’s been a great year,” added French Open runner-up Halep, who took over the top spot in the rankings at the start of October and will remain there unless big-serving Czech Karolina Pliskova wins the tournament.
“Actually, now, I found out I’m close to finishing the season as number one, so I thought I would be like ranked fourth after this tournament but now I have a good chance to stay top.
“It was really good that I could reach the number one this year. It was my goal, so I’m okay. So my feeling is that I fought. I fought till the end. It was a good match. Not great, but was good match.”
Editing by Pritha Sarkar