Wozniacki claims WTA Finals title

Caroline Wozniacki's cruise to the biggest win of her career turned into a desperate struggle before the Dane finally subdued Venus Williams 6-4, 6-4 in the WTA Finals title showdown at an enthralled Singapore Indoor Stadium on Sunday.

Williams did break back twice to bring the set on serve at 5-4, but as in the first set was unable to muster her own serve when needed.

The Dane beat her American opponent, the oldest woman to reach the final at 37, 6-4 6-4 to finish the year as world number three.

"Well, now I don't feel any pressure because the season is finished but I can imagine that it's going to be a little bit more hard", she said. "Previous year was tough with injuries and all that, but just standing here and winning this title means a lot to me", said Wozniacki, who was runner-up to Kim Clijsters in the 2010 edition.

Said Wozniacki, who was still shaking from the weight of the moment as she basked in the adulation of former greats and fans: "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".

Wozniacki raced to a 5-0 lead in the second set before Williams mounted a late comeback attempt.

With the momentum and crowd behind the veteran American by then, a player known for her defensive prowess went back to what had worked all week: fearless tennis. I felt I had to try and stay aggressive.

"She started mixing up the serve a little bit more". I managed to stay aggressive. "I just went out there and did my best".

Williams was trying to get to the net at every opportunity and came forward to good effect in the next game, with a vicious cross-court backhand enabling her to break back immediately on her way to levelling the score at 3-3. The 21 aces she served up at the tournament put her at the top, over Williams, who posted 19.

Simona Halep is still searching for her first grand slam title, but the Romanian admits the consolation of ending the year as world number one will help to motivate her for another tilt at a major title breakthrough next season. "You know, I played well parts of the match and tried my best", Williams, who won the event in 2008, said.

She politely asked to be allowed to enjoy this victory for now, for the expectations of another season to come only when January comes round. "I was hoping that if I'm going to beat her, at least once in my career, it has to be today".

Surely, now both the numeral and this title will hold infinite meaning.

  • Kyle Peterson