WTA Finals: Ashleigh Barty dethrones Elina Svitolina to rule WTA world

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WTA Finals: Ashleigh Barty dethrones Elina Svitolina to rule WTA world

The 23-year-old Ashleigh Barty has made incredible progress since returning to tennis a few years ago, improving every element in her game and conquering the WTA Tour in 2019 after claiming four titles. The most consistent player of the season won four titles this year, including the first Major crown at Roland Garros, securing the year-end no.

1 spot and lifting the trophy at the WTA Finals in Shenzhen to complete a regular season on a high note ahead of the Fed Cup final. In the title match in Shenzhen, Ashleigh took down the defending WTA Finals champion Elina Svitolina 6-4, 6-3 in an hour and 26 minutes, scoring the first victory over the Ukrainian in six encounters!

Barty got broken twice but was all over her opponent in the return games, claiming 46% of the return points to earn four breaks from eight opportunities and control the scoreboard almost all the time. Elina fought well in the first nine games, rattling off one good hold after another and earning a break chance at 4-4 that could have pushed her in front.

Barty denied it and claimed the opener with a break in the next game, gathering momentum and sealing the deal with three straight breaks in set number two. Nothing could have separated them in the first eight games, delivering a strong pace in service games and keeping the returners away from break chances.

As we already said, that all changed in the ninth game when Elina created a break point with a winner, denied by a well-constructed attack from Barty who closed the game with a volley winner, gaining boost and converting the third set point in the tenth game with a return winner for a 6-4 after 44 minutes.

They traded breaks in the third and fourth game of the second set, repeating that in games six and seven to stay neck and neck before Barty seized the third opportunity in the eighth game that sent her 5-3 in front, clinching the third straight game and sealing the deal with a hold at love in game nine to claim the title as the first champion of the premium WTA event since Evonne Goolagong Cawley in 1976.