Ashleigh Barty of Australia celebrates after winning the first set against Elina Svitolina of Ukraine during the WTA Finals Tennis Tournament at the Shenzhen Bay Sports Center in Shenzhen, China's Guangdong province, Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

Barty beats Svitolina to win maiden WTA Finals title

November 03, 2019 - 7:42 am

SHENZHEN, China (AP) — 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.

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