WATCH—The ATP battle for year-end No. 1:
Simona Halep is set to return to competition at Moscow next week, and likely finish the season holding the No. 1 ranking.
The 27-year-old's appearance in Moscow and the WTA Finals had been in question when she withdrew from Beijing two weeks ago and was diagnosed with a herniated disk in her back. But having undergone rehab, she travelled to Moscow and has hinted that her practice session there was successful.
So far so good here in Moscow ???? pic.twitter.com/mqpibfQ1MQ
— Simona Halep (@Simona_Halep) October 13, 2018
Halep, who is competing in Moscow as a wildcard, added the event to her schedule a few weeks ago. She has not won a match since reaching the semifinals of Cincinnati, falling in the opening round of the US Open and Wuhan and then retiring while down a set in Beijing.
But with No. 2 Angelique Kerber not playing Moscow this week, Halep will be more than 1,500 points in front of the German even if she does not play the WTA Finals in Singapore, which gives up to 1,500 points to the winner.
Unless Kerber wins the WTA Finals and then enters another event, Halep is positioned to keep the No. 1 ranking for the rest of the season. A good performance in Moscow, which gives 470 points to the winner, could further guarantee it. She's the top seed and receives a bye, awaiting the winner between Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Ajla Tomljanovic.
Halep also finished the 2017 season holding the No. 1 ranking.