After an incredible year, we are down to the year-ending championships held in Singapore, the WTA Finals. Throughout 2017, Venus Williams was also able to claim some impressive wins, storming to the final of two Grand Slams which eventually brought her to a top-five ranking after the US Open. This also allowed her to qualify for the WTA Finals for the first time since 2009, and she looks to end off the year on a high note as she is one of the contenders for the title here in Singapore, looking to win her first title of the year.
Notable Results to Date
Williams’ best results have come just timely at the biggest tournaments, reaching an incredible two Major finals at the age of 37. From being ranked 17th at the start of the year, the legendary American defies her age and she currently finds herself returning to the top-five of the rankings for the first time since 2011.
Defeating quality opponents like Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Coco Vandeweghe, Williams’ unexpected run to the final at the Australian Open was stopped by her sister, Serena, who won her record-breaking 23rd Grand Slam title while being pregnant. Nonetheless, her classic celebration at the end of her semifinal match would forever remain in everyone’s minds, showing how grateful she was to be able to participate in a Major final once again.
Williams was one of the two players who reached the second week of each and every Grand Slam this year, alongside Garbine Muguruza. On her least preferred surface, the American lost to eventual semifinalist Timea Bacsinszky in the fourth round of the French Open.
Going for the “Venus Rosewater Dish” at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Williams had an impressive run to her second Grand Slam final of the year, ousting the young talent Naomi Osaka, Roland Garros champion Jelena Ostapenko and home favorite Johanna Konta along the way. However, she was unable to get her hands on the silverware as Garbine Muguruza proved to be too strong, claiming the second Major of her career.
Another run to the final looked to be possible at the US Open, but Williams was stopped in the semifinals by the comeback wonder in Sloane Stephens, who went on to claim the title. The seven-time Grand Slam champion defeated Petra Kvitova and Carla Suarez Navarro to reach the last four, but she eventually ran out of steam against Stephens.
Best WTA Finals result
Venus Williams made four previous appearances at the WTA Finals and reached the semifinals 1999 and 2002 when the tournament utilized a knockout format which began with 16 players, thus making it harder to mount a deep run. However, her last two appearances saw her clinch the title in 2008 before reaching the final in 2009, both when the tournament was held in Qatar.
Williams was also an alternate back in 2015, the same year when she won the other year-ending championships for players ranked ninth to 19th, the WTA Elite Trophy. The American will most likely be the fifth seed here in Singapore.
Results entering Singapore
Williams had only played just one tournament throughout the Asian Swing, opting to skip the bigger tournaments in Wuhan and Beijing and instead played the Hong Kong Tennis Open, where she unexpectedly lost to youngster Naomi Osaka in the second round.
How does Williams’ game translate to the surface?
The surface in Singapore is surprisingly much slower as compared to other indoor hard-court events, which will definitely be a huge challenge for hard-hitters like Williams as finishing off points could be extremely challenging. Williams possesses a huge serve, which could go as fast as 121 mph as seen at the US Open.
The American has the ability to dictate play throughout the match, but she has to be consistent enough if she were to pull off several good wins here in Singapore. Nonetheless, the legendary American would look to claim a fifth-consecutive semifinal result at this prestigious tournament.
How Venus fares up against the other players in the field
Williams is the only player in the tournament not to have a negative head-to-head record against the rest of the field. This is particularly impressive, especially when the American only lost six times to the players who qualified. She leads her head-to-head record against the top two players in the world but has lost both of her clashes with Garbine Muguruza this year. However, Williams holds a 7-0 record over former world number one Caroline Wozniacki, and a good group should just send her through to the knockout rounds.