Sloane Stephens qualifies for WTA Finals & Caroline Garcia wins Tianjin Open

Simona Halep of Romania returns to Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands during the finals at the Western & Southern Open tennis tournament in Mason Ohio. Halep is back as the year-end No. 1 for the second

While Stephens, Pliskova and Bertens are all playing in Moscow this week, Svitolina is taking the week off, which means that she can not move in front of the No. 6-placed Stephens.

Halep, who won her first major title at this year's French Open, clinched the year-end top tennis ranking on Monday but may be forced to pull out of the upcoming Kremlin Cup and the season-ending WTA Finals because of a herniated disk.

"I hope first to be able to play here (in Moscow) because".

Halep used a wildcard to make her return from a back injury in Moscow ahead of the WTA Finals next week and will come up against Pavlyuchenkova, a 7-5, 6-4 victor on Monday.

"I haven't practised 100 per cent yet but today, tomorrow, I will do close to 100", Halep said in a conference call, "and I will be able to know better the next day".

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"I came here to make sure that I am able to play, because my back is not great yet", she said.

This year Halep has won the Shenzhen Open and the Rogers Cup presented by Banque Nationale in Montréal as well as her debut Grand Slam crown at Roland Garros.

Apart from a four-week spell at the start of this year when she was briefly overhauled by Caroline Wozniacki, Halep has kept hold of the world No 1 ranking ever since she went top early in October last year. "I've been anxious every day because every morning I was waiting to see how I felt when I woke up", she said.

Her US Open title defense gone with the wind when Anastasija Sevastova defeated her in the quarters and she managed to win only two matches during the Asian swing.

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