Double celebration for new No.1 Halep

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Halep, now ranked No 2, defeated the unseeded Daria Kasatkina 6-2 6-1 to close in on the top spot held by Garbine Muguruza.

But Halep steeled herself and reeled off three successive games to become the 25th player in the history of the WTA rankings to sit at top spot.

Throughout 2017, Halep has come agonisingly close to becoming world number one, only to lose a match which would have resulted in her claiming the much sought-after position. Halep, thus, replaces Garbine Muguruza at the top of the rankings which will be updated on Monday.

Simona Halep of Romania beat Latvian Jelena Ostapenko 6-2, 6-4 here on Saturday to reach the 2017 China Open final and will rise to world No.1 for the first time in her career.

Halep is yet to win a Grand Slam but reached her first major final at the French Open this year.

The former world No. 1 was forced to retire during her Beijing opener due to illness.

"Of course it's the best moment in my life, and I want just to keep it", Halep told reporters in Beijing. In the quarter-finals, she meets the victor between 11th-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland and Russian Daria Kasatkina.

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In New York the Russian was able to dominate Halep's serve but this time the Romanian was broken just once, in her opening game.

"She was hitting the ball consistently, not making a lot of unforced errors, her service percentage was quite high".

French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia qualified for the season-ending WTA Finals in Singapore with a 6-3 7-5 win over Australia's Samantha Stosur in round two.

Third seed Elina Svitolina defeated in-form Australian Ashleigh Barty 6-4 6-2.

The last Premier Mandatory event of the season has turned into a place of retribution Halep who cast out some of her recent demons.

The Romanian will face France's unseeded Caroline Garcia in Sunday's final after she beat 12th seed Petra Kvitova of Czech Republic 6-3 7-5.