Romania’s Simona Halep kicked off her campaign for a maiden WTA Finals title in emphatic fashion with a thumping 6-0, 6-3 victory over U.S. Open champion Flavia Pennetta in the opening match of the eight-woman season-ending tournament on Sunday.
The world number two is the highest ranked player in the field after Serena Williams, who has won the tournament the last three years, withdrew citing the need to rest after a year spent carrying injuries.
Halep crushed Williams in round robin play a year ago before losing to the American in the final and her love of the Singapore Indoor Stadium hard court was evident in a first set she wrapped up in 26 minutes after breaking serve three times.
“I feel the same now as I did against Serena,” Halep told reporters of the win. “I can play my best tennis here yet I didn’t play my best today, but I played good tennis.
“I played solid and was dominating the match,” she added.