Review - 2018 Hengqin Life WTA Elite Trophy Zhuhai

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.
 

Barty holds off Wang to win biggest title in Zhuhai


Ashleigh Barty raised the biggest trophy of her career at the Hengqin Life WTA Elite Trophy Zhuhai with a straight-sets victory over Wang Qiang.
 
ALEX MACPHERSON |November 4, 2018
 
ZHUHAI, China - Ashleigh Barty has ended her second Top 20 year with an exclamation point, seizing the biggest title of her career with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Wang Qiang in final of the Hengqin Life WTA Elite Trophy Zhuhai.


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."


WTA Rankings 2018: Barty blasts into Top 15, Wang breaks Top 20


 WTA STAFF|November 5, 2018
 
Ashleigh Barty’s success at the 2018 Hengqin Life WTA Elite Trophy Zhuhai has propelled her to a career-high WTA Ranking of No.15. 
 

The 22-year-old Australian defeated Wang Qiang, 6-3, 6-4, in the final of the event in China to claim the biggest title of her career to date and has enjoyed a four-place jump in the ranking to reflect that.

Meanwhile, her opponent has leapt up to WTA World No.20, meaning that she has reached a new career-best and is the first Chinese player to finish a year in the Top 20 since Li Na retired in 2014.

 

Here are the other notable movers as the season winds down:

Dalila Jakupovic (+4, No.73 to No.69): Enjoyed a run to the semifinals of Mumbai, where she was eventually outset by Irina Khromacheva.

Wang Yafan (+10, No.83 to No.73): The top seed lived up to her billing in an ITF event in Liuzhou, where she claimed the title after dropping just one set all week.

Luksika Kumkhum (+23, No.103 to No.80): Broke back into the Top 100 after winning the title in Mumbai. She was taken the distance three times, including a three-set win over Zheng Shuai.

Kateryna Kozlova (+5, No. 104 to No.99): Beaten in the final of an ITF event in Toronto last week, the Ukrainian still succeeded in pushing back into the Top 100.

Irina Khromacheva (+34, No.165 to No.131): Has stormed into the Top 150 off the back of a fine run in Mumbai, where she reached the final and even claimed the first set against Luksika Kumkhum.

Beatriz Haddad Maia (+51, No.235 to No.184): The former WTA World No.58 is back in the Top 200 thanks to a run to the final of an ITF event in Tyler, Texas.

CR: WTA

 

With four years passing by, the WTA Elite Trophy Zhuhai is becoming more and more mature. Both the WTA Elite Trophy Zhuhai and Huafa Group will strive for continuous improvement to present better matches for global audiences, and make Zhuhai well known for tennis. Let us expect the opening of 2019 Hengqin Life WTA Elite Trophy Zhuhai.