WTA Finals: Williams' age of dominance

Kelvin Reese
October 30, 2017

With Wozniacki serving for the title at 5-3, Williams outlasted her younger opponent in a gruelling rally before then hitting a sublime forehand passing shot to get back on serve.

But the match took an unexpected turn early in the second set when the Dane had a time violation and argued with the umpire during the third game.

Former World No.1 Wozniacki stepped on the gas early in the second set, breaking in the opening game and cruising into a 5-0 lead, but 10-time Grand Slam champion Williams was not going down without a fight, winning four games on the bounce to put the pressure on.

Venus Williams became the oldest woman ever to reach the final when she beat Caroline Garcia Saturday to set up a WTA Finals title decider with Caroline Wozniacki.

Garcia was the form player coming into the event having won back-to-back titles in China to claim the final spot and looked on course to continue the journey when she bossed the first set tie-break.

"I can say I had two hard moments this year; one at the beginning of the year when I was injured about three months, I couldn't play, and then I came back stronger", she said.

In the first set, which saw as many as 12 set points, Wozniacki converted on her sixth opportunity which propelled her past the third-seeded Czech Karolina Pliskova 7-6 (11-9), 6-3. "I haven't played her in ages", Williams said.

Williams and Garcia had split two matches in 2014 but Garcia has improved nearly beyond recognition this season to claim back-to-back titles in China and climb to a career-high world number eight in the rankings.

Only one break of serve separated the two of them on the scoreboard, and it went on serve all the way until the seventh game where Garcia threatened to break back. Finally, she started to make a couple of mistakes and I kept the intensity up, kept trying to find a way. "I watch my figure!"

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Simona Halep will end 2017 as world number one, becoming the 13th women to earn the honour. She knows how to manage these kind of matches and I will have...

"At this level, I think we've both improved our game".

"I'm playing much better than I did at the beginning of the year but I feel like I have so much to improve.

I learned a lot", the 24-year-old said.

"She has had an incredible season this year with two finals in grand slams".

"Then I got a good start in the tiebreaker, 6-1, and I was feeling pretty good about it", the 27-year-old added.

"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".

"I started thinking I should have lost this set already, so actually this is just a bonus". Her record going the distance tops the field and if she can force a third set, who's to say that her fighting spirit won't make it eight wins in a row.

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