From New York to Singapore and everywhere in between, the WTA Finals has had its share of memorable moments over the course of its history.
Here’s a look at some of the legendary feats, surprise performances and career-defining statements through the years.
As is the case with nearly every prestigious event on the WTA Tour, Serena Williams has established herself as one of the great champions in tournament history. The American’s won the title five times, including a three-year stretch from 2012-2014. In 2012 and ’13, she didn’t drop a match, going through the round robin portion with a 3-0 record both years.
Another Navratilova Record
Martina Navratilova holds a number of records in the sport, with one of them being the most singles titles at the tournament at eight. She’s also dominated in doubles, winning 13 times with three different partners.
Seles Goes the Distance
Despite being a best-of-five final since 1984, the year-end championships didn’t see a championship match go the distance until 1990. That’s when Monica Seles rallied from two sets to one down in a battle between the year’s French Open (Seles) and US Open (Sabatini) winners.
Going into last year’s event, all of the top seven seeds had an opportunity to end the year as the world No. 1. Though she didn’t come away with that accomplishment, Caroline Wozniacki managed to win the title, the biggest of career.
A Now-Rare Feat for Sharapova
In 2004, it looked like Maria Sharapova was going to have Serena Williams’ number. The Russian teenager defeated her in the final of Wimbledon and finished off the year with a victory over her at the WTA Finals in Los Angeles. That would be Sharapova’s most recent win against Williams as the American has defeated her 19 straight times over the years.
In 2016, Dominika Cibulkova was one of three players to make their debut at the tournament, and despite having a 1-2 record in the round-robin portion, was able to advance to the semis on sets won. After fighting through a three-setter in the final four, she stunned world No. 1 Angelique Kerber in straights for her biggest career title.
Passing the Torch
In 1996, Steffi Graf was the number-one ranked player in the world and made it through to the final of the year-end event with the loss of only one set. In the final, she faced the game’s latest teenage prodigy, Martina Hingis, who pushed her to five sets. Two years later, Hingis would win the title for the first time.
Winning the title for the first time back in 2008, Venus Williams spent much of the time since away from the tournament. She returned to the field in 2017 and reached the final, her third major one of the year.