Top seed Simona Halep defeated Alize Cornet in Group Serdika of the Garanti Koza WTA Tournament of Champions and became the first player to advance to the semifinals, whilst also scoring her 50th win this season, joining just three players who have achieved the same this year – Serena Williams with 78 victories, Agnieszka Radwanska with 56 and Petra Kvitova with 51.
The 6-4 6-4 score may suggest that it was an easy victory for Halep, but it was nothing like that. The Romanian struggled for every point and later stated that she is getting more and more tired as the season is coming to a close. In the first set Halep had a 3-1 lead, but Cornet closed the gap to 3-3, before Halep managed to take it 6-4. In the second set Halep again had initial lead that the seventh-seeded Cornet managed to neutralize, from 5-2 to 5-4, before Halep celebrated in one hour and 33 minutes.
Fourth seed Samantha Stosur eliminated fifth-seeded Elena Vesnina, who had a 3-0 lead in the second set but collapsed in straight sets 6-3 6-3 in Group Sredets. In the third match of the day, in Group Serdika, sixth seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova beat alternate Elina Svitolina, who stepped in when Maria Kirilenko withdrew from the tournament, 6-2 6-4. (photo: © Neal Trousdale)