While looking forward to the year-end tennis feast - 2019 Hengqin Life WTA Elite Trophy Zhuhai, it’s still worth reviewing what has happened last year.
Today's win marks the third title of Barty's career, and second of the year following Nottingham in June. The 22-year-old leaped to a dominant start, careening through 16 of the first 22 points to take a 4-0 lead. Barty's renowned variety was in full flow, her slice carving up the court with fluidity and focus as she constructed a sequence of brilliantly controlled points. "I know that whenever I have played Q in the past, it's always been an extremely tough match," she observed afterwards. "There's a tendency to have long games, whether they're return or service games. It's kind of grinding out those games."
With the final WTA Tour event of 2018 now complete, both finalists have ensured their highest ever year-end finish. Barty, who rocketed from No.325 to No.17 in her 2017 comeback, will end an excellent season of consolidation at No.15; while Wang will break the Top 20 for the first time to become the first Chinese player to end a season in that stratum since Li Na's final year in 2014.
Barty's new ranking will also be a career high - and although she had not been aware of that beforehand, she was still deeply satisfied with her 2018 campaign. "That's a really neat way to finish off the year," she remarked.
"It's been a truly phenomenal year. My goal is to stay top 20 and try and consolidate as best I can. We've been able to do that and come away with a couple of titles, as well, and still being very successful in doubles. It's been a really, really amazing year. Now we get to go home to celebrate that and then prepare for bigger and better things in 2019, starting with the Australian summer."