Double celebration for new No.1 Halep

Taylor Byrd
October 8, 2017

Sharapova agreed with Halep's assessment of the pair's second meeting in six weeks after not playing the Romanian for nearly two years.

The 26-year-old will be confirmed as the world number one for the first time when the updated rankings list will be published on Monday (October 9), following the conclusion of the event in the Chinese capital tomorrow.

"It's very emotional, I think it's the first time I cried on court", she said.

Halep ensured she would replace Spaniard GarbiƱe Muguruza, who retired ill from the tournament earlier this week, at the summit of the rankings with a 6-2, 6-4 win over Ostapenko at the Olympic Green Tennis Center.

The 26-year-old has famously not won a Grand Slam and will, at least for now, become the fifth No. 1 to not win a major, but she has reached two French Open finals and has checked nearly every other box.

But the Romanian is in red-hot form and claimed the scalp of former world No. 1 Maria Sharapova earlier this week, beating the Russian at the eighth attempt.

Of the 74 percent of first serves that she was able to make to put Sharapova on the defensive right from the off, Halep was more often than not able to come away victorious, winning 77 percent (24/31) of the points when she managed to land her first delivery.

"Of course it's the best moment in my life, and I want just to keep it", Halep said.

Halep recorded 12 winners against six unforced errors and broke Sharapova's serve on two occasions to win the match in one hour, 12 minutes. Halep will be making her fourth straight appearance in the Republic.

Third-seeded Elina Svitolina of the Ukraine posted a 6-4, 6-2 win over Australian Ashleigh Barty in their second-round match.

She is 2/5 favourite with Sky Bet to defeat Caroline Garcia (7/4) in Sunday's final after the Frenchwoman beat Petra Kvitova 6-3 7-5.

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