10/23/2015 09:21 EDT | Updated 10/23/2016 01:12 EDT

Sharapova, Halep drawn in same group for WTA finals round-robin stage

SINGAPORE — Maria Sharapova was drawn with top-seeded Simona Halep on Friday in the tougher group for the season-ending WTA finals.

With top-ranked Serena Williams skipping the event, the red group features the two highest-ranked women in Singapore in Halep and Sharapova. U.S. Open champion Flavia Pennetta and and Angieszka Radwanska of Poland are also in that group.

The white group features Garbine Muguruza, Petra Kvitova, Angelique Kerber and Lucie Safarova.

The tournament features a round-robin stage, with the top two players in each group advancing to the semifinals.

Safarova, Pennetta and Kerber only qualified for the event this week. Play starts Sunday.

The Associated Press