Serena Williams won her opening match at the WTA Finals after trashing Ana Ivanovic 6-4, 6-4 in the Red Group at the season-ending tournament in Singapore.
The win improved Serena’s career record against the Serb to 8-1.
Williams came into the finals after injuries forced her out of her previous two outings and following Shamil Tarpischev’s disparaging comments about her and sister, Venus. The Russian official has been widely condemned for calling the power duo “the Williams brothers” on a Russian TV chat show. Serena has since described his comments as “sexist, racist, and bullying”.
Before the WTA Finals, Williams retired from the China Open and Wuhan Open because of illness and a left knee injury that had her in doubt for Singapore. With the win over Ivanovic, she closed in on Martina Navratilova’s record of 21 straight wins at the season-ending tournament.
In another Red Group match, Romania’s Simona Halep comfortably defeated Canada’s Eugenie Bouchard 6-2, 6-3.
Bouchard will next face Ivanovic on Wednesday (October 22nd), while Halep will face Williams.
In today’s White Group matches, Maria Sharapova takes on Caroline Wozniacki and Petra Kvitova faces Agnieszka Radwanska.