Serena Williams beats Simona Halep to win fifth WTA Finals

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Serena Williams won her third consecutive WTA Tour Final last weekend after defeating Romanian opponent Simona Halep in the event's Singapore debut.

The world number one only lost three games against her Romanian opponent, beating Halep 6-3 6-0 to retain the title. The American claimed revenge after suffering her biggest loss in 16 years to Halep in the group stage.

"I had to play Serena-style and do what I do best" said Williams. "I was expecting a much better player than I was in the earlier round. Being ready for that really was able to help me out."

Slow start from Serena

After a nervy start to the match having almost dropped her opening serve, Williams regrouped to clinch the first set and eventually power on to win her fifth WTA title.

Neither competitor was able to gain any momentum in the opening rounds, Williams seemed to have the upper hand at 4-2 but two double faults surrendered her advantage back to the Romanian.

Halep's standards finally slipped

However Halep could not emulate the accuracy that steered her to a French Open Final, and two wide backhands from the world number four forced her to drop serve for the third time and hand the initiative to Williams.

Williams then stormed through the second set cutting out her errors and capitalised on her second Championship point for the victory.

Serena ends difficult year on a high

The 33-year-old extended her reign at number one to 97 weeks (fourth longest ever) and will end the year as number one for the fourth time.

Williams claimed her 18th grand slam singles title at the US Open in September as well as success in five other tournaments this year.

The American is the first player since Monica Seles (1990/91/92) to win three consecutive WTA Finals and goes level with Steffi Graf in terms of WTA titles - but is still some distance behind Martina Navritalova who holds eight.

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Serena Williams

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