Venus Williams expressed early on in her stay in Zhuhai that she felt comfortable and at home there, and she proved that to be true with an impressive win in the finals of the tournament. Williams played her best in the pivotal points of the match, edging Czech player Karolina Pliskova 7-5, 7-6 (6).
The match was hotly contested, with the pace set early on. Venus came out strong with a 4-1 lead, but Pliskova quickly tied it 4-4. Venus won the set, but couldn't hold on to that momentum as Pliskova took a 4-2 lead in the second. The Czech nearly converted a set point at 6-5 in the tiebreak, but sent her forehand a bit wide. Williams then took advantage of the opportunity to convert two winning forehands of her own to claim victory.
This is the third WTA title for Venus this year, as she previously won in Auckland and in Wuhan a few weeks ago, and it's the first time she's won three WTA titles since 2008. Perhaps even more significant is her jump into the top ten (she will be number seven), a coveted spot in the rankings that she hasn't reached in four and a half years.
At 35 years and 6 months old, Venus is the oldest player to make the top ten since 38-year-old Martina Navratilova did in December 1994. We are certainly thrilled to see Venus battle her way back to elite form, and are looking forward to what she will do on court this coming season! (photos: Jimmie48)