Williams wins WTA Elite Trophy

Venus Williams beat Karolina Pliskova in straight sets to win her third WTA title of the year at the Huajin Securities WTA Elite Trophy in Zhuhai, China to return to the Top 10 in the rankings.

Top seed Williams took just over two hours to beat the Czech third seed 7-5, 7-6(6). 

The final was a hard-hitting match, with Williams racing to an early 4-1 lead, but Pliskova fought back to 4-4 before Williams managed to break and win the opening set 7-5.

In the second set, Pliskova went ahead 4-2 but Williams broke back to take the match to a tie-breaker.

Williams went up 4-2 in the breaker but the Czech fought back bringing up a set point at 6-5.

But the American lifted her game to finally close out Pliskova with back-to-back forehand winners and a passing shot on match point to win 7-5, 7-6(6).

In an interview afterwards, Williams said she feels like Asia was home after winning in Zhuhai having spent seven weeks in Asia. 

"Seven weeks here in Asia and now I feel like it's my home!" Williams said afterwards. 

"I'm so excited to win the first trophy in Zhuhai. All the players felt so welcome here and we appreciated all of the enthusiasm. To see every seat filled for every match, that's all the players and tournament hope for.

"Also congratulations to Karolina. She deserved to win too – I was really lucky to win at the end."

"Even if I didn't make it today, it was a great week," Pliskova said. "Venus played an unbelievable match today. But I'm proud of how I played this week and hopefully we'll have more matches like this."

The Huajin Securities WTA Elite Trophy Zhuhai was Williams' 48th WTA tour title.