Top-ranked Ashleigh Barty capped her sensational 2019 season with the biggest ever payout in tennis history by dethroning defending champion Elina Svitolina 6-4 6-3 in the final of the $14m Shiseido WTA Finals Shenzhen.
The first set got tighter in the penultimate game, as Barty fended off Svitolina’s first opportunity to break and in the following game converted her third break point to win the opener. The second set featured five breaks of serve, but the crucial one was Barty’s in the eighth game, as the Australian confidently consolidated it with a love hold when Svitolina netted a forehand on match point.
This is the 23-year-old Barty’s fourth title of the year and first ever victory over Svitolina in their six career meetings.
Let’s recap Barty’s major 2019 achievements:
- Claiming first Premier Mandatory title at the Miami Open;
- Winning her maiden Grand Slam singles champion’s trophy at Roland Garros;
- Rising to the No.1 ranking on June 24th;
- Securing a year-end No.1 ranking;
- Becoming the fifth player to win the WTA Finals on her debut;
- Earning the biggest prize money in tennis history ($4.42m).
It was an engaging final between the top seed and eighth-seeded defending champion, but the 2019 Shiseido WTA Finals Shenzhen will mostly stay remembered for a slew of withdrawals, as the elite draw saw as many as four players quit prematurely this week (Naomi Osaka, Kiki Bertens, Bianca Andreescu and Belinda Bencic).
This year’s edition of the season-ending tournament was also specific in terms of fashion, as all players wore either Nike or Fila. The champion’s outfit of choice was from Fila’s latest Heritage collection, the navy Fila Fall Heritage Racerback Tank and a pure white Fila Fall Heritage Solid Skirt.