Halep routs Serena Williams 6-0 6-2 at WTA Finals

Halep routs Serena Williams 6-0 6-2 at WTA Finals

Serena Williams did not hesitate when asked to describe her performance today, when she took her heaviest defeat since she was 16 years old.

"Embarrassing describes the way I played today," Williams said. "Very embarrassing."
Williams was routed 6-0, 6-2 by Simona Halep at the WTA Finals in what was arguably the worst performance of the 18-time Grand Slam champion's career.

The last time Williams managed to win just two games in a WTA Tour or Grand Slam match was in 1998 when she was a newcomer to the tour, known best as Venus' little sister.

The loss in the round-robin match provided a shuddering halt to Williams' 16-match winning streak at the year-end championships, where she is the two-time defending champion.
"My forehand was off today," Williams said. "It's obviously gone on an early vacation. My serve was at best at the 10-and-under division of juniors.

"You got to step up to the plate. She did and I didn't." The fourth-ranked Halep had never before beaten a player ranked in the top 3, and in her two matches against Williams last year, she only won a total of seven games.

For a player, who was ranked No. 47 two years ago, Wednesday's win over No. 1 Williams represented a new career high.

"It was my best match of my life," Halep said. "I played unbelievable shots. It means a lot this match. At an important time I played really well, and after today my confidence will be more high."
Halep, runner-up at this year's French Open, beat Eugenie Bouchard in her opening match and moves to 2-0 in the Red Group.

Williams slips to 1-1 and will face Bouchard next. Ana Ivanovic beat Bouchard in Wednesday's other game, winning 6-1, 6-3. Ivanovic is 1-1 and Bouchard fell to 0-2.

Going into the last round-robin matches in the Red Group, Halep is all but certain of a semi-final berth, needing to win just one game against Ivanovic, while Bouchard has only a very slim mathematical chance of progressing.

Ferrer was also far from his best, but battled past Seppi to set up an all-Spanish last 16 tie with Fernando Verdasco.

Indeed the three-time champion in Valencia had trailed 5-2 in the second set before reeling off five straight games to finish off the Italian. Both Murray and Ferrer's Tour Finals chances were also boosted by defeat for Berdych earlier in the day to local favourite Pablo Andujar 6-3, 6-3.

"I think it was a very special match for me, here in Valencia, with my friends and family cheering for me," said Andujar.

"I tried to be as solid as I could, then when I had the chance I attempted to hit it as hard as I could. I know Tomas is more powerful than I am, so if I just put the ball in, he would destroy me."
The world number six arrived in Spain full of confidence having won in Stockholm last week.

However, the Czech looked out of sorts as Andujar dominanted throughout and fittingly sealed victory with a brilliant cross-court forehand winner.

The world No 46 will play Serbia's Dusan Lajovic in the second round. Last year's champion Mikhail Youzhny of Russia also suffered a earlier exit as he was beaten by Brazilian qualifier Thomaz Bellucci 7-5, 6-3.

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