Simona Halep to end 2018 as world number one

Ajla Tomljanovic is Australia's third highest ranked women's tennis player

Camera Icon Ajla Tomljanovic is Australia's third highest ranked women's tennis player

The 27-year-old Romanian beat Sloane Stephens at Roland Garros to win her maiden Grand Slam title in June and will have spent 40 weeks at the top of the rankings by the end of the season.

She also won the Shenzhen Open and Canadian Open titles this season and made it to the final round at the Australian Open, Italian Open and Cincinnati Masters.

Romania's Simona Halep said she was enjoying her position on top of the world standings after she secured the year-end WTA number one spot for the second consecutive year.

She also gave a short update on her fitness following the back trouble that forced her out of competition in Beijing, saying: "I'm doing physio to try to make [my back] stronger, but I haven't practiced 100 per cent yet".

"So I don't know now but, for sure, I will take a decision for my health first".

In such circumstances some players might have ended their season early, but Halep said she had been determined to push herself to the limit.

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Halep has played 15 tournaments so far in 2018.

With momentum on her side, Garcia broke Pliskova's serve twice to claim her first WTA title since her back-to-back triumphs in Wuhan and Beijing previous year.

Apart from a four-week spell at the start of this year when she was briefly overhauled by Caroline Wozniacki, Halep has kept hold of the world No 1 ranking ever since she went top early in October last year.

"It's really hard and I feel it every year, and I feel it more and more, to be honest".

"So it's pretty stressful but somehow it's normal because injuries are pretty normal when you play at the highest level".

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