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Konta edges towards Top 8 in Wuhan, Halep one win away from WTA Finals spot

by September 29, 2016 General

Updated 2016-09-29 17:46:41 Xinhua

Johanna Konta defeated Carla Suarez Navarro on Wednesday in the third round of the Wuhan Open, a match featuring two players battling for a spot among the Top 8, who will qualify for the WTA Finals Singapore.

The win positions Konta 246 points out of the Top 8, and she could narrow the gap to 86 points should she advance to the semifinals. While the cutoff for the Top 8 will be a moving target, the narrow gap certainly indicates that a Top 8 finish for Konta is within striking distance.

Meanwhile, world No. 5 Simona Halep can secure her spot in Singapore by reaching the semifinals in Wuhan. She will play America’s Madison Keys in the quarterfinals Thursday.

If Keys defeats Halep, the Romanian could still qualify this week, but that will require several results to fall in her favor.

While the focus centers on the “Road to Singapore” leaderboard at this time of the year, Konta also has a chance to make her top 10 debut on the WTA rankings this week, provided she is able to reach the finals in Wuhan with other results falling in her favor.

Currently ranked world No. 13, Konta faces a tough road to the Finals with a quarterfinal matchup against Petra Kvitova and a potential semifinal against the winner of Halep vs. Keys.

It has been 32 years since the world top 10 included a British woman. Jo Durie graced the top 10 in August 1984, before dropping out after a first round loss at the 1984 US Open.

Only three British woman have found their way to the top 10: Virginia Wade (with a career-high of No. 2), Sue Barker (with a career-high of No. 3) and Durie (wtih a career-high of No. 5).

Konta is scheduled to play the China Open in Beijing next week and the Hong Kong Tennis Open the following week.