Barty beats Svitolina to win maiden WTA Finals title

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SHENZHEN, China — Ashleigh Barty added to her already stunning year by winning her first WTA Finals title in her maiden appearance at the season-ending event with a 6-4, 6-3 win over defending champion Elina Svitolina of Ukraine on Sunday.

The title adds to the 23-year-old Australian’s lengthy list of achievements in 2019 including winning her first Grand Slam title at the French Open. She also rose to the No. 1 ranking in the game and is now enjoying her 15th week in the top spot, becoming the first Australian to hold the year-end top ranking.

Barty, who came through the round-robin standings with a 2-1 record this week, was unable to find a breakthrough against Svitolina until the 10th game when she created three break point opportunities, finally taking advantage of the third with a forehand return winner to score the opening set.

There were five service breaks in the first eight games of the second set, leaving Barty leading 5-3 and serving for the match.

Svitolina smacked a backhand crosscourt way wide on a second break point in that eighth game to seal her fate with Barty then serving out the match at love.