World number one Serena Williams beat Simona Halep in straight sets to win the WTA Tour Finals for the third consecutive year in Singapore in Sunday.
The American won 6-3 6-0 to claim the season ending tournament for a fifth time- a total bettered only by Martina Navratilova. Williams will also end the year as the number one.
The victory was also revenge for the 18-time Grand Slam winner, after suffering one of her heaviest defeats in her career at the hand of the Romanian in the round robin group stage four days ago.
“You made me a better player,” Williams said to Halep on the trophy podium.
Serena added: “I was trying to stay positive and trying to just stay out there and play better. I made so many errors in our last match. I knew for a fact I couldn’t make that many errors. I had to play more Serena-style tennis and just do what I do best: enforce myself. That’s what I was trying to do.
“I made so many unforced errors in our first match (against Halep), and I think knowing that she has the ability and the capability to play so well, I knew that I had to step up my game.
“It was also good for me to lose that match, because now I know what to expect next year. I know what to work on once the pre-season starts.”
After a slow start that saw Halep open up a 2-1 lead, Williams upped her game to restore parity and piled more pressure to close out the set with a couple of aces.
Williams reduced her double fault count and attacked Halep serve with dexterity as she broke twice to take the lead, before a flashing forehand return made it 5-0. A misjudged drop cost her her first championship point but she smashed the winner moments later after just 69 minutes.
Halep said: “She was more motivated and more focused maybe this match. She tried to hit the balls very strong. Like I said before, every day is a new day; it’s a different day. So we saw today that it was a different day.”