Tennis

Elina Svitolina sinks Simona Halep to reach semis of WTA Finals

Defending champion Elina Svitolina stormed into the penultimate stage of the season-ending WTA Finals last night after a commanding straight-set victory over Simona Halep in China.

The world No. 8 took advantage of an error-strewn Halep and prevailed 7-5, 6-3 in one hour and 39 minutes at the Shenzhen Bay Sports Centre.

Svitolina is the first player through to the semi-finals, having also beaten world No. 2 Karolina Pliskova in straight sets on Monday.

Halep still has a chance of qualifying. She needs to overcome Pliskova, who was awarded her match against Bianca Andreescu after the US Open champion withdrew with a knee injury.

Svitolina had the better of long baseline rallies against an uncharacteristically errant Halep, who finished with 38 unforced errors.

"It was an extremely physical match," Svitolina said.

"I played very solid. I'm very happy about that."

At the Paris Masters, Fabio Fognini's hopes of qualifying for the season-ending ATP Finals ended when he lost 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 to Canada's Denis Shapovalov last night.

But Alexander Zverev boosted his chances of qualifying for next month's ATP Finals with a 6-1, 6-3 win over Fernando Verdasco. - AFP

Tennis