WTA World No.1 Ashleigh Barty claimed her fourth singles title of the season today at the Shiseido WTA Finals Shenzhen, prevailing over the defending champion Elina Svitolina in the final. She becomes the first Australian woman to lift the Billie Jean King Trophy in 43 years, after Evonne Goolagong Cawley did so in 1976.
Barty’s win also signifies another historic milestone, as the Australian has won the largest prize money check in professional tennis by earning $4.42 million.
Barty becomes the first reigning World No.1 to lift the Billie Jean King Trophy since Serena Williams in 2013 and is now the fifth player to clinch the title on her debut appearance, following Serena Williams (2001), Maria Sharapova (2004), Petra Kvitova (2011) and Dominika Cibulkova (2016). Including the victory over Svitolina, Barty has won a Tour-leading 56 match wins this season.
Timea Babos and Kristina Mladenovic successfully defended their WTA Finals crown, defeating No.2 seeds Hsieh Su-Wei and Barbora Strycova to lift the Martina Navratilova Doubles Trophy once again. They become the first team to clinch back-to-back WTA Finals doubles titles in 11 years, after Cara Black and Liezel Huber from 2007-08.
Babos has now won her third WTA Finals doubles title, having also triumphed in 2017 with Andrea Sestini Hlavackova. The last player to capture three consecutive WTA Finals doubles titles was Lindsay Davenport from 1996-98.
The WTA also announced that Barty and Barbora Strycova have earned the 2019 WTA Year-End World No.1 Singles and Doubles Rankings presented by Dubai Duty Free.
Australia’s Barty has clinched the year-end WTA singles No.1 ranking for the first time in her career, becoming the 14th WTA player since the inception of computer rankings in 1975 to achieve the accolade.
Strycova has earned this season’s year-end No.1 doubles ranking also for the first time, and 2019 marks the second year in a row a player from the Czech Republic has achieved the honor, after Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova ended 2018 as the co-ranked No.1 team.
“On behalf of Dubai Duty Free, I’d like to offer our congratulations to Ashleigh Barty and Barbora Strycova on achieving the WTA Year-End World No.1 singles and doubles rankings for the first time in their careers,” said Colm McLoughlin, Executive Vice Chairman & CEO, Dubai Duty Free. “Ashleigh and Barbora have written their names into the history books in 2019 following their debut Grand Slam titles at Roland Garros and Wimbledon respectively, which was just one of many amazing achievements this season, and I look forward to welcoming them to the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships next year in February.”
Barty became the 27th player to reach the WTA World No.1 ranking on June 25, 2019, and including her triumphant week at the Shiseido WTA Finals Shenzhen, has amassed 15 weeks in the top spot. Her ascent to the World No.1 ranking over the summer also marked the first time an Australian woman had held the position since Evonne Goolagong Cawley reached this historic milestone on April 26, 1976.