Zhuhai (China): Australian tennis star Ashleigh Barty lifted the year-end Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) Elite Trophy after sweeping aside Wang Qiang in straight sets here on Thursday. The 22-year-old edged past her Chinese opponent 6-3, 6-4 to clinch the biggest title of her career after her triumphs at the Nottingham Open earlier this year and at the 2017 Malaysian Open.
Barty made a blistering start to take a 4-0 lead but Wang was quick enough to make a comeback by avoiding Barty at the backhand and won consecutive points to level the scoreline at 4-4. Just when Wang’s game was clicking, Barty broke her opponent’s momentum and regained her influence with steady smashes and ended the first set in her favour.
Now as the game rode out a tighter second set, Wang made a flurry of errors that allowed Barty to put pressure on the scoreboard with some aggressive points and the Australian finished the game with her special backhand that spun just out of Wang’s reach. With the win, Barty has leaped from number 17 to number 15 spot in the WTA rankings, while Wang has become the first Chinese player to break the Top 20.