Halep wins WTA Finals opener

Romania's Simona Halep hammered US Open champion Flavia Pennetta in the eight-woman season-ending WTA Finals in Singapore on Sunday.

The world number two beat Pennetta 6-0, 6-3 in 72 minutes in her opening round-robin match. 

There was some worry ahead of the event for Halep, who had picked up an ankle injury in early October but did not appear to be hampered in any way in her movements around the court.

After losing the first set 6-0, the 33-year-old Italian played a lot better in the second set but in the eighth game she dropped her serve to trail 5-3, only for her opponent to hold serve for the win. 

Pennetta did not help matters by making 27 unforced errors throughout the match.

In a chat after the match, the 24-year-old Halep said she felt that she could play a lot better than she did.

"I can play my best tennis here yet I didn't play my best today, but I played good tennis.

"I played solid and was dominating the match," she added.

"I have confidence and I just want to stay focused, because after tomorrow I will have a tough match. 

“I expect every match to be difficult, so I just want to stay focused and to believe that I have my chance."

Pennetta said though she lost she was enjoying herself in Singapore.

"The 'Road to Singapore' was pretty hard over the last month, but I'm really enjoying playing in this event and being here," she said.

"Of course I would love to play a little bit better but I still have a chance. I still have two matches to play, so we will see what happens."

In Sunday’s later round-robin match world number three Maria Sharapova faces Agnieszka Radwanska in a 'Red Group' clash.

The 'White Group' has Garbine Muguruza, Petra Kvitova, Angelique Kerber and Lucie Safarova, who will all be playing their matches on Monday.