World number 1 and reigning Roland Garros champion Simona Halep has not been able to recover from a back injury that has been bothering her for more than a month and she decided to withdraw from the upcoming WTA Finals. BNP Paribas WTA Finals had moved to Singapore back in 2014 and Halep is the only player who has managed to qualify in all previous five seasons, reaching the final on her debut in 2014 and losing it to Serena Williams. Things were not that bright at the WTA elite event for the Romanian in the last three editions, winning just three out of nine matches and failing to pass the group stage.
Simona suffered a disk hernia while preparing for the Wuhan event and she lost in the first match there to Dominika Cibulkova. Simona was forced to retire against Ons Jabeur at the start of Beijing and she had to withdraw from Moscow as well this week.
Interestingly, her last win of the season came in the semi-final of Cincinnati, losing the title match to Kiki Bertens and wrapping up the season with for straight losses. Bertens will replace Simona in Singapore as the ninth player on the list and the draw will come out on Friday.
"Unfortunately, after much discussion with my team and doctors, I have made the decision to withdraw from the WTA Finals in Singapore. I wanted to finish 2018 on a high after such an incredible year, but sadly my back injury hasn’t healed the way we hoped it would and I need to put my long-term health first.ALSO READ: ATP Antwerp: Stefanos Tsitsipas, Denis Shapovalov and Chung stand strong
I’m sad I won’t be able to play the fifth and final edition here in Singapore, but I’m confident this is the right decision and will do everything I can to be back fighting for my place at the WTA finals next year.
Singapore is a special city and I’m sure the fans will enjoy seeing some fantastic women’s tennis this week."