Simona Halep cruises past Pennetta at WTA Finals Singapore

World number two and top seed Simona Halep solidified her standing as the tournament favorite of the WTA Finals Singapore 2015 after winning her first match against US Open champion Flavia Pennetta in an hour and 10 minutes.

Halep avenged her most recent loss to Pennetta at the semifinals in New York to close out the match in Singapore with a 6-0, 6-3 scoreline.

“I started the match really well. I played my best in the first set, fast, smart and aggressive,” Halep said during her on-court interview. “I was really enjoying the match today. I was really happy to be back here.”

“It became a tough match, though. Every match here is like the final of a Grand Slam – I played the semifinals with Flavia in the US Open. I knew she’d play better and the second set was much tougher.”

Pennetta acknowledged that Halep’s strategy worked well today.

“She was playing really well today – everything was working in the good way. Maybe I didn’t have too much energy – I didn’t push a lot like I always do, I was waiting too much. But in the second set was much better. I was trying to find something more, trying to be more aggressive.”

“Of course I would love to have played a little bit better, but I still have my chance. I’m really enjoying playing this event. I still have two matches I have to play, so we will see what happens.”

Halep, a runner-up during her debut at the season-ending championships last year, downplayed expectations that she’s the heavy favorite to win this year.

“Last year I was very excited to be here for the first time and I played my best every match, just trying to enjoy the tournament and be confident in myself.”

“I’m coming back here with the confidence to do some good results again, but I know it’s going to be difficult, so I just want to enjoy myself like last year, and try to do my best like I did last year.”

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