Ash Barty Topples Svitolina To End Australia’s 43-Year Wait For A WTA Finals Champion - UBITENNIS
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Ash Barty Topples Svitolina To End Australia’s 43-Year Wait For A WTA Finals Champion

The 23-year-old has won more than $4 million prize money after prevailing at the end-of-season extravaganza.



World No.1 Ash Barty has won the biggest prize money pay cheque in the history of tennis after defeating defending champion Elina Svitolina to win the WTA Finals title on her debut.

Barty, who won her maiden grand slam title in June at the French Open, withstood some fierce play from across the court to prevail 6-4,6-3, in Shenzhen. In what turned into a roller coaster encounter with a series of high quality tennis from both players, the Australian hit 30 winners, compared to just eight from Svitolina. Barty also claimed 65% of her service points and broke four times in the match.

“On this slow court I had to take a few chances.” Barty told BT Sport after. “I had to come in a little bit more and try to shift court position. So I was in control a little more often than not. Even if it did mean a few errors, but I’m certainly happy with the way it planned out tonight.”

Heading into the final WTA match of the 2019 season, Svitolina boasted a dominant head-to-head record against Barty. Winning all five of their previous meetings, including one that took place earlier this year in Indian Wells. However, since then Barty has blossomed on the tour through her triumph at Roland Garros and subsequent rise to world No.1.

Their latest clash in Shenzhen was a near perfect advertisement for women’s tennis with both player’s illustrating some of their best tennis. Moving effortlessly around the court as they carefully constructed their rallies. It wasn’t until 32 minutes into the match where the first break point opportunity occurred. Svitolina had the chance to break for a 5-4 lead, but failed to do so after hitting a forehand wide. The Ukranian’s failure proved decisive to the outcome of the opener. In the following game, it was Barty’s turn to pounce. Two set points came and went for the Australian. However, it was third time lucky for Barty after she punished a 123mph Svitolina serve with a clear return winner to snatch the 6-4 lead.

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Despite her breakthrough, the match was by no means over. The second set turned into a cat and mouse chase with constant changes of momentum. First Barty dropped her serve to trail 1-2, before hitting back with interest by breaking Svitolina two times in a row.  Continuing to nudge ahead, she moved to a game away from a famous victory. Tasked with serving for the title, Barty closed out proceedings in style. Doing so with a love service game that concluded with a forehand from her opponent crashing into the net.

“It’s been a remarkable year. Tonight (in Shenzhen) it was about coming out here and fighting right until the end.” Said the year-end No.1
“I couldn’t be more pleased with my team and myself. I’m just so pleased with all of us. We’ve had an incredible season.”

Barty is the third Australian player to win the singles title at the event and the first since Evonne Goolagong Cawley back in 1976. She has also won a record $4,420,000 in prize money. The biggest single payout from a tournament in the history of the sport. As of 21st October, only four women on the WTA Tour has earned that much this year.

The new champion closes out 2019 with four singles titles to her name after also previously triumphing in Miami and Birmingham. She is only the fifth player in history to win the WTA Finals on their debut. Following in the footsteps of Serena Williams (2001), Maria Sharapova (2004), Petra Kvitova (2011) and Dominic Cibulkova (2016).

There will be no time to rest for Barty, who will be returning back home to get ready for the upcoming Fed Cup finals. Australia is seeking to win the event for the first time since 1974 and will take on France.

“It is the most beautiful way to cap off a beautiful year. It’s nothing like playing for your country.” She said about the team event.
“When I do get to Perth in a couple days time I look forward to sitting down with the girls.”

Barty won four out of her five matches played at the WTA Finals this year. Her only loss was to Kiki Bertens.

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World No.634 Laura Samson Reaches First WTA Quarter-Final At 16



Laura Samon - image via photo credi: Manuel Queimadelos

Laura Samson has become the first player born in 2008 to reach the quarter-finals of a WTA event after producing a surprise win on Tuesday. 

The 16-year-old wildcard stunned second seed Katerina Siniakova 1-6, 7-5, 6-3, in the second round at the Prague Open. Her triumph occurred a day after she dropped just two games against Tara Wurth in her opening match. This week is Samson’s Tour debut after playing 10 events on the lower-level ITF circuit. 

“I’m extremely surprised,” she said during her on-court interview after beating Siniakova. “I didn’t go into it as favorite. I’m so proud of myself and I hope I will continue to play like this. As I was going into the second set I thought, ‘I have nothing to lose, I didn’t play good in the first set.’ I’m not really sure when [I thought I could win], I just believed myself in the third set.” 

Samson is the latest Czech player to break through following a sucessful junior career. Last year she won the Wimbledon girls’ doubles title and was runner-up in the French Open singles tournament in June. She is currently No.3 in the ITF junior rankings but has been ranked as high as No.1. 

Earlier this year, Samson decided to change her name on the Tour by dropping the last three letters (ova). The reason why she did so was to avoid getting confused with another player. 

“I first noticed it last year, there was a problem that I was getting strings (the) of Lyudmila Samsonova,” she told

“I also talked about it with her and, for example, according to the schedule, she also sometimes thought she was playing, but it was me,” 

“I would have liked the ending -ová, but unfortunately it turned out like this.”

The teenager will next take on world No.248 Oksana Selekhmeteva with the winner of that match progressing to their first WTA semi-final.  21-year-old Selekhmeteva is a former top 10 junior player who came through two rounds of qualifying to reach the main draw. She is a two-time junior Grand Slam champion in doubles. 

There are five seeds remaining in the tournament, including top seed Linda Nosková who will play Germany’s Ella Seidel in her next match. 

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Krejcikova Comes Alive With Her Serve To Win 12th Grand Slam Title At Wimbledon



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It must have seemed like the whole world was against her when Barbora Krejcikova served for the match for a third time against crowd favorite Jasmine Paolini.

But Krejcikova was only going for her 12th Grand Slam title. She was well prepared.

So, she released her patented way-out-wide serve to the smallish Paolini’s backhand, and the best the Italian could do was get her racket on the ball enough to return the serve far off the court, long and wide.


The weight of the world was gone as Krejcikova threw her arms over her head and calmly walked to the net to greet the Wimbledon runner-up.

Now, Krejcikova was half-way home to a career Grand Slam in singles. She already owns a career Grand Slam in doubles among her dozen Grand Slam titles that also include one mixed doubles Grand Slam title.

She has won the hard ones, the French Open on clay and Wimbledon on grass.

At 28 years old, anything must look possible to this 5-10 Czech.


Paolini simply was out played in a second straight Grand Slam final, on clay and on grass. Now she faces the real tests, two straight Grand Slam tournaments on hard surfaces that might not be overly friendly to the 5-4 Paolini.

But there it was, a 6-2, 2-6, 6-4 victory for Krejcikova on Wimbledon’s famed Center Court.

After what might be called a throw-away second set for Krejcikova, she came alive in the third set, pinning Paolini to the deep corners while nailing low hard-hit balls to both corners.

Krejcikova got off to 40-0 starts on her first four service games of the decisive set and ended all four with service winners to take a 5-3 lead (with the aid of the only service break of the third set). She yielded only one point in those four service games, a double fault at 40-0 that was followed by an ace.

Of course, it was the serve again that saved the day for Krejcikova and gave her set points two and three, then sealed the deal for a spot in Wimbledon history.

James Beck was the 2003 winner of the USTA National Media Award  for print media. A 1995 MBA graduate of The Citadel, he can be reached at 

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Wimbledon Finalist Jasmine Paolini – ‘I’m A Little Bit Scared To Dream Too Much’



After coming close to her maiden Grand Slam title at Wimbledon, Jasmine Paolini believes consistency is key to having another shot at glory.

The 28-year-old dropped only one set en route to becoming the first Italian woman to reach a Wimbledon final. However, she was denied the title by Barbora Krejcikova, who won in three sets. Paolini was broken once in the decider which was due to a double fault from the Italian following an unsuccessful hawk-eye challenge made on her first serve. Then she failed to convert two break points when down 4-5 before Krejcikova held to seal glory.

“I started bad,” she reflected afterwards.

“I took some time and try to relax and to come back in the second set stronger to try to push the ball more because I was a little bit controlling too much, and I missed a lot of shots.

“She was playing, honestly, very good the first set. She was serving really, really good. High percentage of first serves.

“It was tough but I think I did better than the last final (at the French Open), but still it’s not enough.”

Prior to Saturday, Paolini had scored wins over former US Open champion Bianca Andreescu, Medison Keys (via retirement) and a marathon victory over Donna Vedic. She has now won 15 Grand Slam matches in 2024 compared to just one last season.

The defeat comes less than two months after the French Open where Paolini contested her first major final but lost in two sets to world No.1 Iga Swiatek. Since the start of this season, she has risen more than 20 places in the rankings and will reach No.5 on Monday.

Despite being in her late 20s, the Italian is producing some of her best tennis on the Tour. Something she credits to a combination of things. 

“I improved my game a little bit. I believe more in myself. I improved my serve. I think I improve the return.” She explained.

“I think physically I’m better than two years ago. I’ve been working with a new fitness coach for one-and-a-half years.

“There are many things, I think. Not just one. I think also winning matches helps a lot.”

Whilst she is heading in the right direction on the Tour, Paolini has vowed not to get too ahead of herself.

“Sometimes I’m a little bit scared to dream too much.” she said.

“I’m going back, trying to practice and stay in the present. This is the goal for me and my team, to try to keep this level as much as possible.

“If I keep this level, I think I can have the chance to do great things.

“Today I was dreaming of holding the (Wimbledon) trophy but it didn’t go well.

“I’m just enjoying the position where I am right now.”

Paolini has won 30 out of 43 matches on the Tour so far this season.

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