Third seed Simona Halep looked solid as round robin play got underway at the WTA Finals in Kallang, Singapore on Sunday.
The Romanian needed just 70 minutes to defeat American sixth seed Madison Keys 6-2, 6-4, to move into first place in the Red Group.
— WTA Finals Singapore (@WTAFinalsSG) October 23, 2016
Halep broke early when she converted her fourth break point in a long third game to grab the early momentum and had the edge thereafter.
A second service break in the fifth game had Halep leading 4-1 and she went on to claim the set 6-2 with few issues.
The next set was a closer affair when, after Haleb had claimed her opponent’s serve in the fifth game to lead 3-2, Keys fought back to break serve to level things at 4-4.
But the very next game, Haleb broke straight back, then served out the match winning the set 6-4 on her third match point.
The former World No.2 moves into the lead in the Red Group, while Keys will need strong performances in her next two matches to have a chance of making the semi-finals.
This is the 46th edition of the singles event and the 41st edition of the doubles competition. The tournament is contested by eight singles players and eight doubles teams split into two groups.
In singles, the Red Group has – Angelique Kerber, Simona Halep, Madison Keys and Dominika Cibulková, while the White Group is made up of – Agnieszka Radwa%u0144ska, Karolína Plíšková, Garbiñe Muguruza and Svetlana Kuznetsova.
American world number two Serena Williams is not taking part due to injury.