WTA Finals: Simona Halep sees off Bianca Andreescu, Elina Svitolina beats Karolina Pliskova

Simona Halep
Former world number one Simona Halep is bidding for her first WTA Tour Finals triumph, having finished runner-up in 2014

Wimbledon champion Simona Halep survived match point before beating Canadian teenager Bianca Andreescu in a pulsating WTA Finals clash in Shenzhen.

The 28-year-old Romanian was on the brink at 6-5 in the second set before taking her third set point in the tie-break to force a decider.

US Open champion Andreescu required lengthy treatment on her back before Halep clinched a 3-6 7-6 (8-6) 6-3 win.

Earlier on Monday, defending champion Elina Svitolina beat Karolina Pliskova.

Andreescu plays Czech second seed Pliskova on Wednesday in their second round-robin match, with the 19-year-old saying she will spend the next 48 hours trying to overcome the back problem which hampered her against Halep.

"In the third set, I really don't want to blame my back, but I felt like I didn't have the same power as I did in the first and second set," Andreescu said.

Ukrainian world number eight Svitolina edged an 18-minute first set tie-break before sealing a 7-6 (14-12) 6-4 win.

Both players broke each other early in the opening set before the marathon tie-break which Svitolina clinched when the Czech's backhand landed wide.

Svitolina's break in the seventh game of the second set proved decisive as she claimed a seventh successive victory at the WTA Finals.

Svitolina, 25, said: "That was probably one of the longest tie-breaks I have played.

"I was just trying to be ready for her big serves today. I tried to move quickly and react quickly. The slightly slower surface gave me a bit more time."

The WTA Finals sees the world's top eight compete in two round-robin groups of four, with the winners and runners-up advancing to the semi-finals.

Svitolina is in the Purple Group alongside Pliskova, Halep and Andreescu. The Red Group features Naomi Osaka, Ashleigh Barty, Petra Kvitova and Belinda Bencic.

Elina Svitolina
Elina Svitolina recorded her fourth consecutive victory over Karolina Pliskova

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