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WTA Ladies Tennis Finals From Singapore • Caroline Wozniacki Beats Venus Williams

Caroline Wozniacki ends 2017 with biggest title of her career at WTA Finals in Singapore


It was a brilliant and dramatic end to an incredibly topsy-turvy 2017 season on the WTA as former world number one Caroline Wozniacki claimed the biggest title of her incredible career at the WTA Finals. Under the lights of the Singapore Indoor Stadium, the Dane produced some breathtaking tennis, halting a last-minute surge from seven-time major winner Venus Williams to take her first win over the American 6-4, 6-4.


“It feels great. You know, going into the tournament, you know that it’s going to be a tough one, regardless. You may leave the tournament being 0-3 at the end of the year, but you hope for the best and you hope that you can play your best tennis. I’m really proud of how I have played all week and how I have fought and how I really produced some great fighting out there,” said an ecstatic Wozniacki.


“To be here with the trophy means a lot, and it’s a great way to finish off the year.”


In the opening set it was tight early, with nothing separating the players through the first three games with no break points between them. Wozniacki struck first though, seizing the opening break for 3-1 only for the 37-year-old Williams to peg right back and break for 3-2. Following two more comfortable service games for both, the Dane broke again to go up 5-3 courtesy of some sublime play, only for the seven-time Grand Slam champion to break right back once again, bringing it to 5-4 and forcing Williams to serve to stay in the first set. Another brilliant display of defending and impressive shot placement helped Wozniacki break for a third time that set, with it securing the opening set 6-4 and moving a set away from the biggest title of her career.


The Danish former world number one took that momentum with her as she begun the second set, taking the first three games including a break of the Williams serve to go up 3-0. As the errors began to mount off the racquet of the American, Wozniacki remained a wall, breaking Venus again before moving ever closer to that coveted Billie Jean King Trophy, one game from the title at 5-0.


Venus Williams of the USA in action against Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark during their final match of the BNP Paribas WTA Finals 2017 held at the Indoor Stadium in Singapore, 29 October 2017. EPA-EFE/WALLACE WOON

From there though the tide began to turn as Williams, with her back against the wall, showed her trademark fighting spirit, holding to force Wozniacki to serve for the title and eventually breaking the Dane for 5-2. Proving why she is a legend of our sport, Williams’ level began to skyrocket as the winners kept coming off the American’s racquet, making easy work of her serve and breaking Wozniacki for a second straight time as she served for the championship to draw to 5-4 on serve.


Despite a raucous Singapore crowd fervent in their support for Venus and the American finally showing her best level of the match, Wozniacki held her nerve to break Williams for the biggest title of her career, sending her racquet into the sky as she jumped in jubilation following the 6-4, 6-4 win, her first ever win in eight tries over the seven-time major champion.


Following the match, the Dane was delighted to have eventually closed out the American great and to hold the Billie Jean King Trophy, marking her return to her best days when she ended as year end world number one for two years straight back in 2010 and 2011.


Describing her emotions as Venus fought back from 0-5 down to 4-5, Wozniacki said, “I kind of felt like it was a little bit of an uphill battle, to be honest. I knew she was stepping it up, she had nothing to lose at that point, and she really went for it. Things were going in for her.”


“She started mixing up the serve a little bit more. I kind of, yeah, felt I had to try and stay aggressive. But at the same time, you know, I just have to hope that it’s going to go my way now. And obviously the crowd was starting to get into it and rooting her on obviously because they wanted a longer match.”


“I just had to keep reminding myself that I’m still up and I’m the one who is leading here, and I’m the one who can close out this match right now,” said a very mature Wozniacki.


“I honestly think I served and I returned pretty well. I think I got a lot of her serves back, and obviously she has a big first serve, but at the same time, I tried to keep pressure on her and tried to take a little bit of time away and stay a little bit closer to the baseline,” commented the former world number one Wozniacki.


“She does great angles. When you play against her, she manages to put the ball very close to the line and with an angle you don’t really get from any other player, so it catches you a little bit offguard and then she opens up the other side of the court. It’s important for me to try and cut the angles and try and take the ball on the rise, and I think I did that pretty well.”


Having been clearly the best player throughout the week in Singapore, Wozniacki topped all the stats with her impressive performances throughout the week.


“I think I served pretty well most of the tournament. I think that I moved really well. I think I went from offense to defense really well. I think I — I just felt good out there. I felt very calm for a lot of the time. Not by the end of today, but, you know, other than that, I felt pretty good about my game in general. I was just enjoying to play out there,” said the Dane.


Given that only just over a year ago Wozniacki was a set away at the US Open from dropping out of the top 100, the former number one’s rise back to the top has been an incredible sight to see.


Asked how those breaks and injury setbacks of 2015 and 2016 shaped her into the player she is today, the newly-crowned WTA Finals champion said, “I think everything happens for a reason. I think the break from tennis for me was great. I really enjoyed being home and just doing normal stuff, and not being able to hit a ball actually felt nice.”


“Yeah, once I got back, I just took my time and made sure that I was properly healed, the body was fine. And when I felt ready, I came back and I was enjoying to play out there. I strongly believe everything happens for a reason, and maybe I wouldn’t be here if that wouldn’t have happened,” concluded Wozniacki.


Finally, reflecting on an incredible 2017 season that saw the Danish former number one reach a tour best eight finals and win a tour best 60 matches, Wozniacki said, “I’m very happy the season is finished right now. I will finish on a high. Just go on vacation and enjoying myself and rest. It’s been a long year. It’s been a great year.”


“Eventually we have to draw a line in the sand and, you know, say it’s been a great one. You know, in a month’s time, I will start preparing for the next season, but for now I will not be touching a racquet for the next four weeks, and I will just be doing a little bit of fitness to keep my shape up.”


While the former two-time year end number one remains without a Grand Slam title, she posses a very strong argument as the best of her generation without one, and a major win sure has to be in the near future for Wozniacki if she continues to play this way.


Asked if she’s concerned how others assess her career, the Dane said, “Honestly, I don’t know, and I don’t really care, to be honest. I know I have done well and I have had a great career.”


“I’m proud of my achievements, and I’m proud of being able to just, you know, fight my way from a little kid to all of a sudden being one of the best tennis players in the world. Very few people can say that, and I’m proud of that,” concluded a rightfully prideful Wozniacki following the biggest trophy of her career.


Finally, assessing if she’s at or near the best form of her more than ten-year career, the newest WTA Finals champion said, “Yeah, I think I played really well this week. I think I played great tennis, and I’m proud of being here as the winner of the tournament.”


Surely, Wozniacki isn’t very far from the form of her career and a first Grand Slam trophy in 2018.

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