The 2017 WTA Finals wrapped up on Sunday with the singles and doubles finals in Singapore. Firstly, it was a surprise doubles final with Andrea Hlavackova and Timea Babos up against Kiki Bertens and Johanna Larsson. From a set down, Hlavackova and Babos won their biggest title together, 4-6 6-4 10-5.
I thought Hlavackova’s experience prevailed in the Champions tiebreak – she was the only player not to double fault and she owned it at the net with a handful of excellent putaways. It was Babos finished with a fine volley. Their joy at the end was infectious!
In the singles final, Caroline Wozniacki won her biggest WTA title, defeating Venus Williams in the final for the first time in her career, 6-4 6-4. It was an exciting final with a super high quality first set and a roaring comeback from Williams in the second set.
Wozniacki scored the first break of the match with a fine forehand winner to lead *3-1 in the first set.
Williams broke straight back and then leveled up at three games all. The American was ultra-aggressive and looked to come forward.
Wozniacki broke again at 4-3 on a thrilling rally – the pair dueled it out with cross-court forehands before Wozniacki went down-the-line with the forehand winner. The Woz forehand has been one of the most improved shots of the year.
Wozniacki served for the first set at *5-3 – Williams broke straight back to 15 with a game of ferocious winners.
Sadly Williams couldn’t hold to stay in the set with four forehand errors. Wozniacki 6-4 first set.
A sad end to what had been a sensational first set of tennis – these stats are amazing!
This was beginning to feel a tad like the Wimbledon final as Wozniacki raced into a 5-0 second set lead with just too many errors from Williams.
There would be a final twist as Wozniacki backed off a tad and Williams reeled off four straight games. Williams got back on serve after this extraordinary point that really got the crowd going!
Again, Williams couldn’t hold on and get to 5-5 as Wozniacki broke again for the title. Absolutely dreadful camera work at the end – how they could miss the handshake and shoot Wozniacki’s box is beyond me!
Thankfully there was a shot of a nice hug between the pair.
Slightly nervy at the end but all in all, an excellent performance from Wozniacki to cap off a super week. I think she has improved her game so much since reaching world number one. Her game is still built on the foundation of being solid, but she’s improved her serve and forehand significantly, and is definitely more positive and looking to do something in the rallies other than just retrieving.
I thought Williams played a great first set and was extremely resourceful to try and combat the slow surface and to dictate the rallies with angles and net charges. The American had a really tremendous tournament. She really deserved to end this year with at least one title but just not to be! It was a decent final to end a so-so week in Singapore. I thought the tournament ended on a high and that the last three matches all had their moments.
So that’s it for Singapore! I’m kind of relieved the tournament is over which I think is a sign that I am ready for a break. Zhuhai starts next week but I am undecided as to whether I will cover it. I have a few off-season posts to come and then i’ll be hibernating…