Barty bags richest prize in tennis history

SHENZHEN, China: World No 1 Ashleigh Barty spectacularly ended her jinx against defending champion Elina Svitolina to win the WTA Finals on Sunday and scoop the richest prize in tennis history.Barty, who had never beaten Svitolina in five previous attempts, won 6-4, 6-3 in one hour and 26 minutes 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.Barty’s only loss was to late replacement Kiki Ber­tens and she became the fifth debutant to win the lucrative round-robin tournament.“It’s been the most incredible year for me,” Barty said after the match. “I took my opportunities when I got them tonight.”Svitolina has not won a trophy since claiming the WTA Finals in Singapore last year, which remains the biggest title of her career. She had lost just one set before the final to be on track to claim a maximum prize of $4.725 million before falling short in the decider.

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