October 31, 2017
Caroline Wozniacki beat Venus Williams at the eighth time of asking to win the WTA Finals in Singapore.
Her 6-4, 6-4 victory was the biggest of her career and a testament to her bounce-back-ability.
Williams had enjoyed a 7-0 head-t0-head record going into the final.
But the determined Dane, a former world number one, wasn’t to be denied, despite a brave comeback from Venus, who trailed 0-5 in the second.
And the win suggests a strength of character in Wozniacki that some had doubted was there at times, during her difficult slide from the top spot.
Even last year, she had slipped to world number 74 as she suffered injury problems and a loss of confidence.
And before that, during her brief time on top of the world, she had to endure thinly-veiled criticism from the likes of Serena Williams for never having won a Grand Slam.
Wozniacki and Williams subsequently became great friends. But you had to feel sorry for Serena’s sister as she came up just short in another final.
‘I couldn’t be happier right now,’ said Wozniacki. ‘Eight is my lucky number. If I was going to beat her once in my career, it had to be today. I fought back from injury and to stand here with the title means a lot to me.’
Venus said: ‘I couldn’t come up with my best tennis until it was too late, but it was an honour to be here because only eight players make it.’
Meanwhile Roger Federer beat the tiring Juan Martin del Potro 6-7 (5-7), 6-4, 6-3 in Basel to continue his own amazing success story, with more stunning technique and superb mental strength when it mattered.
However, just when the world number one spot looked within his grasp, Federer decided to pull out of Paris, to protect his chances in 2018.
It is a mature decision and a great one for Wimbledon 2018 fans, because in its own little way, the timely rest increases Federer’s chances of being fit for the big Slams next year.
Rafa Nadal will surely now end the year as number one, but Federer’s chances of maintaining his lead over the Spaniard in Grand Slams have been strengthened.
Roger explained: ‘My body needs healing. I need to be careful I don’t make the same mistakes like last year, just over-playing it at the end.
‘Nobody wins. I get hurt or I don’t play at all anymore next season. I really would like to stay healthy from here going forward.’