or netted combined with consistent and at times aggressive play from Halep put the Romanian ahead 4-0.
Williams then struck two double-faults before hitting a down the line forehand wide to trail 30-40.
Halep netted a forehand hit up the middle of the court as the American reached deuce while berating herself loudly to get her serve in.
Williams’ pep talk failed as she double-faulted once again to face breakpoint on which she netted a crosscourt backhand to trail 0-5.
With Halep serving for the set, Williams netted two groundstrokes to face two setpoints before she would save both to reach 40-30.
Halep however struck an ace out wide on set point three to end the set 6-0.
Throughout the set which lasted only 20 minutes, Williams won only nine points while hitting 18 unforced errors.
Halep continued her consistent play to start set two while Williams’ struggle also persisted as the American quickly fell behind 0-2 as Halep had taken the first eight games of the match.
Behind improved serving and fewer errors, Williams held serve to reach 1-2 before Halep also held to pull ahead 3-1.
Serving down 1-3, Williams netted a crosscourt slice forehand then hit a swinging down the line forehand volley long to reach 30 all.
Halep struck an inside out crosscourt forehand winner to reach breakpoint before Williams netted a forehand down the line to drop serve and trail 1-4.
The American then netted two forehands then struck another wide as Halep held serve to lead 5-1.
Serving to stay in the match, Williams hit two backhand down the line winners before Halep committed two backhand errors as the American held serve to reach 5-2.
With Halep serving for the match, Williams lead 40-15 before she would net a crosscourt backhand followed by backhand down the line to reach deuce.
The American struck a crosscourt forehand long to face match point before netting another crosscourt forehand to end the match after only 65 minutes of play.
Over the course of the last several years, Williams had won 16 matches in a row at the WTA Tour’s season ending championships.
However today the American had not performed nearly well enough to continue her streak as she’d finished the match with 36 unforced errors to only 11 winners.
And Williams who uses her serve as her major weapon and who has the ability to strike 20 or more aces in a match, today had hit only two aces to seven double-faults.
“My forehand was off today again. I guess it went on an early vacation,” said Williams who added that she had served better “in the 10 and under division in juniors.”
Thursday at 7:30pm Singapore time (4:30am PST USA), Williams takes on the fifth seeded and Wimbledon finalist Eugenie Bouchard of Canada.
Williams beat Bouchard 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 last year in the duo’s only previous meeting.