Simona Halep will finally become world number one on Monday after reaching the final of the China Open.
The Romanian has missed out on the chance to top the rankings on two occasions this year but it was third time lucky as she beat Jelena Ostapenko 6-2 6-4 in the semi-final in Beijing.
Halep will dethrone Garbine Muguruza when the new rankings are released next week and becomes the third woman to take top spot since the middle of July following short spells for the Spaniard and Karolina Pliskova.
Halep would have had the honour in June had she beaten Ostapenko in the French Open final, but the Latvian sprung a surprise at Roland Garros. She got her revenge here, though, taking advantage of Ostapenko’s weak second serve with two breaks in the first set.
Halep might have had a sense of deja vu when she found herself a set and a break up as that was the position of the French Open final when Ostapenko started a brilliant comeback and she threatened it again, as the Latvian rallied to lead the second set 4-3.
But Halep steeled herself and reeled off three successive games to become the 25th player in the history of the WTA rankings to sit at top spot.