Ashleigh Barty ends season with victory at WTA Finals

Ashleigh Barty celebrates
Ashleigh Barty celebrates

World number one Ashleigh Barty ended the 2019 season in style as she beat defending champion Elina Svitolina to win the WTA Finals in Shenzhen.

The 23-year-old Australian, who had lost all five previous meetings with Svitolina, won 6-4 6-3 to claim 4.42million US dollars (£3.4m) - the biggest prize money in tennis history.

Barty, the reigning French Open champion, ended Svitolina's 10-match winning run at the WTA Finals and stopped the 25-year-old becoming the first player to defend the title since Serena Williams, who won three in a row between 2012 and 2014.

The first set went with serve until the 10th game, when Barty - on her third set point - met a Svitolina second serve with a forehand winner.

Svitolina gained an early break in the second when Barty double-faulted on break point, but the Australian responded by reeling off the next three games in style.

A double-fault at 30-30 gave Svitolina the chance to break back, which the Ukrainian did at the first chance, but Barty again responded superbly to go 5-3 up.

And the Australian impressively served the game out to love to claim victory.

Barty, who only broke into the top 10 in April, said on wtatennis.com: "It feels like it's been a year that just hasn't stopped.

"It's been a year of incredible ups and downs - I think more ups than downs. To cap it off with a very, very special night tonight in Shenzhen is really cool."

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