Iga Swiatek swept to the 16th title of her career and threw the points race for the year-end No. 1 WTA ranking down to the wire.
The longtime No. 1 who lost the top spot after the US Open to Aryna Sabalenka, claimed the honours on Sunday at the Beijing Tour stop as she beat Liudmila Samsonova 6-2, 6-2 to claim a fifth trophy of 2023.
Swiatek put out US Open champion Coco Gauff in the semi-finals here, with the American then quitting the Asian swing with what reported as a shoulder problem.
“I’m happy that I won because, for sure, this is really big for me,” Swiatek said.
“Winning this title is something that I never would have thought at the beginning of the tournament about. I’m pretty proud of myself.”
Swiatek kept a clean sheet, winning without even an ace or a double-fault and breaking her opponent four times in 69 minutes.
The Pole will now have it all to play for at the eight-player Finals in Cancun, Mexico starting in three weeks; she and Sabalenka will be duelling for year-end top honours at the season wrapup.
Swiatek currently trails Sabalenka 630 points, with 1,500 at stake in the upcoming Mexican showdown.
Main photo:- Iga Swiatek lifts Beijing Trophy 2023 – by WTATennis.com