Garcia downs impending world No.1 Halep to boost Finals chances
Caroline Garcia's sensational run continued as she defeated world number one in waiting Simona Halep to win the China Open and steal a march on Johanna Konta for the remaining WTA Finals berth.
Frenchwoman Garcia was clinical at the crucial moments to earn a 6-4 7-6 (7-3) victory in Beijing and she has now won back-to-back Premier titles following her triumph in Wuhan.
Garcia, the first woman to complete a Wuhan and China Open double in the same year, consequently moves to eighth on the Road to Singapore, meaning Konta needs to reach the final in Moscow to still have a chance of reaching the Finals.
Halep, who is one from five in finals for 2017, has the consolation of becoming world number one for the first time on Monday, while Garcia's form - which returned an 11-0 record in China - sees her enter the top 10 for the first time.
Romanian Halep started well enough by breaking at the first opportunity, but she immediately relinquished her own serve to leave the set tied at 1-1.
The opener then remained on serve until game 10 when Halep went long with a forehand to gift Garcia the lead.
Nine break points came and went for Halep in game seven of the second set as Garcia earned a crucial hold.
Some silky net play saw Garcia take ownership of the tie-break and the Frenchwoman would not relinquish her grasp as she continued her hot streak.