Caroline Wozniacki’s incredible year was capped off in the perfect way as she claimed the biggest title of her career at the 2017 WTA Finals after earning her first ever victory over Venus Williams in eight attempts, prevailing 6-4, 6-4. This was Wozniacki’s incredible eighth final of the year, and she leads the tour in this aspect. Meanwhile, this was Williams’ third Major final in 2017, having reached the final at the Australian Open and Wimbledon as well.
Williams will remain in the fifth position after the tournament, which means that she will finish the year in the top-five for the first time since 2010, whereas, Wozniacki continues to rise in the rankings, and she will be the new world number three on Monday with just 160 points separating her from the number one position. It has been an incredible run for the Dane, considering she was just one set away from dropping out of the top 100 back at the 2016 US Open, around 14 months ago.
Tight start to the Championship match
Wozniacki made a confident start to the match as Williams was unable to find her mark in the early stages, throwing in consecutive unforced errors which allowed the Dane to hold her serve. The American then followed suit as her powerful serves helped her to get on board before Wozniacki started going on a run. Keeping Williams at the baseline and trying to move her all around the court, Wozniacki’s counterpunching tactics proved to be effective as she saved two game points to make the first breakthrough.
Wozniacki steals the first set 6-4
However, Williams was able to produce an immediate fightback, dictating play with her precise and accurate groundstrokes, coming up with four good winners to break straight back. We did not have to wait long for the next break of serve as Williams once again did not convert on her opportunities, wasting a game point only to be broken by the inspired Dane, who earned the golden opportunity to serve out the set.
Unexpectedly, the legendary American was able to retrieve the break back with four screaming baseline winners, reflecting the quality of this encounter. Serving to stay in the set, Williams failed to find her first serves and it ultimately proved pivotal as she was broken for the third time in the set, gifting the first set 6-4 to Wozniacki. It is also worth noting that Williams only lost her serve once throughout her semifinal match against Caroline Garcia.
Wozniacki manages to convert her opportunities
Just like how she started the match, Wozniacki began the second set with a love service hold. Unforced errors began to kick in for Williams as it all seemed like a replica of the Wimbledon final, where she was bageled after losing a tight first set.
The American had the perfect chance to break straight back and get herself back into contention, but she went for too much on a forehand, sending it directly into the net and allowing Wozniacki to narrowly consolidate the break for a commanding 3-0 lead.
Williams falters as Wozniacki rises to the occasion
It was all but over when Williams went down a double-break deficit after wasting another game point in the process, and Wozniacki was just unstoppable as she also managed to produce some incredible defensive skills. The Dane held onto her serve for a formidable 5-0 lead, edging closer than ever to the biggest title of her career.
Williams produces incredible comeback but just falls short
Williams spared herself from more embarrassment after comfortably holding her serve to prevent the bagel, showing some tough resilience. Nerves began to hinder Wozniacki from getting over the finish line as she started to get frustrated with herself, allowing Williams to retrieve one of the breaks back. The incredible comeback looked plausible after the American started to fire on all cylinders, holding her serve for 3-5.
Within a blink of an eye, Williams got back on serve after hitting an incredible passing shot winner on break point, getting the Singapore crowd all fired up. Serving to stay in the match, Williams was unable to find her best serves once more, and more unforced errors started to come off her racquet. Wozniacki’s backhand passing winner ended up as the final shot of the tournament, helping her to clinch the biggest title of her career.