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.
The 27-year-old former world number one entered the contest having lost to the evergreen Williams seven times in as many matches but the resilient Dane served and retrieved brilliantly to emerge with a deserved victory after 88 minutes.
Wozniacki was flawless for an hour as she raced to a set and 5-0 lead but Williams is renowned for an insatiable desire to win and the 37-year-old reeled off four games in a row before her increasingly anxious opponent finally closed out the match.
“I 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,” Wozniacki told reporters.
“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.”
Wozniacki’s triumph was her second of the season in eight finals after she successfully defended her Pan Pacific Open title in Tokyo last month. The Dane will rise three places to world number three in Monday’s rankings.