World number one Ashleigh Barty ended her jinx against defending champion Elina Svitolina to win the WTA Finals yesterday and scoop the richest prize in tennis history.
Barty, who never beat Svitolina in five previous attempts, won 6-4, 6-3 at the Shenzhen Bay Sports Centre.
The Australian claimed a record-setting US$4.42 million paycheque -- the largest sum ever awarded in men’s and women’s tennis.
Both players comfortably held service until Barty faced trouble in the ninth game, but she saved a break point and dug deep when it mattered most to fend off Svitolina’s relentless defensive prowess.
Barty then attacked Svitolina’s serve in the 10th game and claimed the set.
The Ukrainian was gifted a break in the third game through a Barty double fault but could not consolidate on serve.
Svitolina’s title defence appeared in tatters when she double faulted to lose serve in the sixth game but courageously broke back.
The see-saw continued when Barty captured another break in a gruelling eighth game before serving it out to cap off a momentous season,