Williams makes winning start

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Published: Monday 20th October 2014 by The News Editor

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Defending champion Serena Williams opened the WTA Finals with her 16th consecutive victory at the end-of-season tournament.

The world number one was given a tough match by her Australian Open conqueror Ana Ivanovic but proved the stronger at the end of each set to win 6-4 6-4.

The tournament is making its debut in Singapore after moving from Istanbul but a different venue could not stop the run of four-time champion Williams, who was a doubt for the tournament with a knee injury.

Ivanovic fought back well in the opening set from 4-1 and two break points down to level at 4-4, and should have made it four games in a row.

But she missed a volley on break point, Williams held and then broke the take the set when Ivanovic, who struggled with her serve throughout, double-faulted.

Ivanovic stayed with her fired-up opponent in the second set until she served at 4-5, when again Williams seized her opportunity to clinch victory.

Speaking on BT Sport, Williams said: “I’m r eally excited with how I played. I couldn’t be happier to be playing here in Singapore. I was fighting really hard. Ana played so well. I think I’m losing my voice from saying so many ‘Come ons’.”

In the other match in the red group, Simona Halep easily defeated fellow debutante Eugenie Bouchard 6-2 6-3.

Both players started nervously but, while Halep quickly settled into her rhythm, 20-year-old Bouchard was error-prone throughout.

It was sweet revenge for French Open runner-up Halep after she lost to Bouchard in the Wimbledon semi-finals.

The first matches in the white group take place on Tuesday, with Maria Sharapova facing Caroline Wozniacki and Petra Kvitova taking on Agnieszka Radwanska.

Published: Monday 20th October 2014 by The News Editor

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