World number one Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus grabbed a 6-2, 3-5 lead over fourth-ranked Elena Rybakina and boosted her chances of securing a semi-final berth at the WTA Finals in Cancun before play was suspended due to rain on Thursday night.
Sabalenka, who powered past Greek Maria Sakkari but lost to Jessica Pegula, put on a dominant performance in the first set against the big-serving Kazakh as rain caused multiple interruptions in a rematch of the Australian Open final.
Rybakina found her groove during the second set before play was suspended for the night in Mexico.
Sabalenka and Iga Swiatek are in contention for the year-end number-one singles ranking. The Australian Open champion overtook four-time major winner Swiatek and captured the top spot after the US Open.
The 25-year-old Sabalenka will retain the number one spot if she makes the final.
American Pegula booked a semi-final spot at the season-ending tournament with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Sakkari, who came into the match knowing she was already eliminated.
Today’s order of play (UK time unless stated)
Not Before 8pm
TO RESUME Aryna Sabalenka leads Elena Rybakina 6-2, 3-5
Not Before 9pm
Coco Gauff vs Marketa Vondrousova
Not Before 11pm
Iga Swiatek vs Ons Jabeur
Jessica Pegula beat Elena Rybakina 7-5, 6-2
Aryna Sabalenka beat Maria Sakkari 6-0, 6-1
Iga Swiatek beat Marketa Vondrousova 7-6 (7-3), 6-0
Coco Gauff beat Ons Jabeur 6-0, 6-1
Elena Rybakina beat Maria Sakkari 6-0, 6-7 (4-7), 7-6 (7-2)
Jessica Pegula beat Aryna Sabalenka 6-4, 6-3
Iga Swiatek beat Coco Gauff 6-0, 7-5
Ons Jabeur beat Marketa Vondrousova 6-4, 6-3
Jessica Pegula beat Maria Sakkari 6-3, 6-2
How to watch the WTA Finals on TV in the UK
Amazon Prime Video is showing the tournament this year with coverage starting at 9.55pm.
How to watch the WTA Finals on TV in the US
The US broadcasting rights to show the tournament this year belong to Tennis Channel with coverage starting at 3.30pm (ET).
When is the final?
The tournament started on October 29 and ends with the final on November 5.
Where are the WTA Finals being held?
The tournament is taking place in Cancun, Mexico. The location was only confirmed in early September, which prompted Aryna Sabalenka to complain about the poor organisation of the tournament.
Who is competing in the singles?
Karolina Muchova was the eighth player to qualify but withdrew due to a right wrist injury. She was replaced in the singles draw by first alternate Maria Sakkari.
- Aryna Sabalenka
- Iga Swiatek
- Coco Gauff
- Elena Rybakina
- Jessica Pegula
- Marketa Vondrousova
- Ons Jabeur
- Maria Sakkari