SINGAPORE -- Serena Williams' fate at the WTA Finals was out of her hands on Friday, but thanks to Simona Halep -- the woman who gave her one of the worst losses of her career on Wednesday -- Serena has qualified out of the group stage and into the knockout round at the WTA Finals.
Serena finished 2-1 in the Red Group and was into the semifinals as long as Ana Ivanovic did not beat Halep in straight sets on Friday. Serena's camp was left sweating after Halep served for the first set at 5-4, only to get broken and then lose a dramatic tiebreaker 9-7. With Ivanovic one set away from knocking Serena out of the tournament, Serena's hitting partner, Sascha Bajin, felt the stress:
But Ivanovic couldn't sustain her momentum. Her first set comeback left her physically taxed and Halep was able to win the second set 6-3 to eliminate Ivanovic from the tournament. With that, Halep qualified in the first position out of the Red Group and Serena qualified second.
Ivanovic came back in the third set on Friday to beat Halep 7-6(7), 3-6, 6-3 and finish off a great season, where she won four WTA titles and made a long-awaited return to the top ten. Saturday's semifinals will see a U.S. Open final rematch when Serena takes on Caroline Wozniacki. Serena leads the head-to-head 9-1. Halep will play AgnieszkaRadwanska in the other semifinal. Radwanska leads that head-to-head 4-2.
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