Re: Will Simona Halep wind up as year end #1 three years in a row?
Her big advantage is having zero points to defend in the last quarter of the season starting with the US Open, so if she does well in Toronto and Cincinnati (defend at least 1000 points) she is one of the big favorites to take the top spot by the end of the year. Nothing to defend at the USO, Wuhan and Beijing is a big deal, but even bigger is she didn't play last year at the WTA finals and that's what, 375 points just for showing up?
But really none of what happened last year matters in the end, it's all about the race and right now she is in 2nd there. So yes, if she keeps her Wimbledon form up (although transition to hard from grass is not exactly easy) she is one of the big favorites. I think the race will end up being between her, Barty and Pliskova. I really REALLY wish I could throw Petra's name in there too, but we all know her relationship with the US Open. If she can surprise us during the Asian swing then she can absolutely get back in the race (of course depending on who wins the US Open, because if it's one of Barty, Halep or Pliskova, that could be it for the race).
It should be an interesting battle that could be made even more so depending who wins the US Open (can Osaka repeat? can Pliskova finally win her first slam? will it be someone else we won't see coming beforehand?). And yes, to answer the question she is right now one of the top 3 favorites to win the Race and possibly finish as the year-end number 1 again.