Romanian tennis star Simona Halep secured the year-end world No. 1 spot in the WTA rankings for the second year in a row, the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) announced on Monday.
The triumph was bittersweet for Halep, 27, as she had announced on October 2 that a herniated disc injury to her back was the reason behind her first-round exit from the China Open, after having won her debut Grand Slam title at the French Open in June, reports Efe.
"Finishing the season as the WTA World No. 1 last year was a huge honour for me. To do it for a second time in 2018 feels like a special achievement, especially having also won my first Grand Slam this year," Halep said in a statement made available by the WTA.
"To be able to see my name again alongside the other legends who have achieved the year-end No. 1 ranking makes me very proud," she added.
The Romanian player did not mention her back injury or whether it would affect her appearance in the WTA Finals, which are scheduled to cap off the season on October 21 with a showdown in Singapore between the top eight players.
Halep became the 13th player to clinch back-to-back No. 1 WTA rankings at year's end since 1975 when the classification first started.
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.
Halep is followed by Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki while Angelique Kerber of Germany remained in third place, ahead of Japan's Naomi Osaka.
The Czech Republic's Karolina Pliskova climbed one spot to fifth, while Elina Svitolina of Ukraine fell to sixth.
Further down the rankings, France's Caroline Garcia jumped four positions up to the 12th after she won the Tianjin Open title over Pliskova on Sunday.