The Insider Wrap is a recap of everything you need to know from the week that was. This week, the 2022 Hologic WTA Tour season came to a close with the year-ending WTA Finals.
Performance of the Week: Caroline Garcia
At the end of May, Caroline Garcia came into her home Grand Slam at Roland Garros with a 6-8 win-loss record for the year. She had fallen to No.79 in the world, well below her career-high of No.4.
"Sometimes, obviously things -- you're emotional or things don't go your way right away," Garcia said after Monday's Fort Worth final. "Sometimes there is a big fight. So you have to find your way through it."
Garcia, 29, demonstrated that fight and reached new heights. From June forward, Garcia picked up titles on every surface, reached her first Grand Slam semifinal at the US Open and made her way back into the Top 10.
Garcia's resurgence culminated in the 11th, and biggest, title of her career, when she defeated Aryna Sabalenka to win this week's WTA Finals singles championship. Garcia never faced a break point in the championship match.
CHAMPIONNNNNN 🤩🙌🏻🦁🐝🏆🎾— Caroline Garcia (@CaroGarcia) November 8, 2022
"I was really focused on my intentions, what I need to do technically to serve the best I can," Garcia said. "And today was definitely the best service games I did through the whole tournament."
Garcia is the second French player to win the WTA Finals after Amelie Mauresmo in 2005. Garcia went 4-0 in finals this season. She is back up to No.4 in the rankings.
Aryna Sabalenka: Sabalenka fell one match short of capturing her 11th career title. She nearly pulled it off, facing (and losing) only one break point all match. She just happened to meet Garcia, who faced none.
It was still an encouraging week for Sabalenka, who became only the third player since 2000 to beat the Top 3 players in a single tournament after Serena Williams at 2002 Miami and Venus Williams at the 2008 WTA Finals.
548 - Aryna Sabalenka has won against the #1 in the world 548 days after the last time she did it against Ashleigh Barty in Madrid. Sensational.@WTA @WTA_insider @WTAFinals pic.twitter.com/mn2FV0oetx— OptaAce (@OptaAce) November 7, 2022
Veronika Kudermetova and Elise Mertens: Kudermetova and Mertens played one event together in 2021, in Istanbul. They won that title, so it made sense that they became regular partners in 2022.
The pair was consistently in the mix throughout the season, winning in Dubai and reaching the Australian Open semifinals. But their partnership crystalized in Fort Worth, when they beat defending champions Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova to win the WTA Finals doubles title.
"I think it just kind of clicked this week," Mertens said after their victory. "You’ve got some weeks it doesn’t click, some weeks that it does, and this week we took our opportunities."
YEE-HAW 🤠🏆— wta (@WTA) November 8, 2022
Veronika Kudermetova | @elise_mertens | #WTAFinals pic.twitter.com/shD9bFvq3p
Iga Swiatek: The top-ranked player fell to to Sabalenka in the semifinals in Fort Worth. Nonetheless, Swiatek pulled together an unforgettable 67-9 season.
Since 2010, only Serena Williams in 2013 (78) and Victoria Azarenka in 2012 (68) had more match-wins in a single year. Swiatek won eight titles this year, including Roland Garros and the US Open. She had more than twice as many rankings points than No.2 Ons Jabeur.
Caty McNally: Twenty-year-old American McNally collected her first WTA 125 title in Midland, defeating Anna-Lena Friedsam in the final. McNally, who has already reached two US Open doubles finals, breaks into the Top 100 of the singles rankings for the first time.
This is such a special week🏼🏼 Thank you Midland… Top 💯 tomorrow 👀 pic.twitter.com/oQVr4Fu4bJ— Caty McNally (@CatyMcNally) November 7, 2022
29: Caroline Garcia is the fourth player to win the WTA Finals singles title after turning 29. Martina Navratilova (1986), Jana Novotna (1997) and Serena Williams (2012, 2013 and 2014) were the other three.
15: Two of this week's players in the final four, Iga Swiatek and Maria Sakkari, reached a tour-best 15 WTA semifinals over the past two seasons.
47: Swiatek won 47 hard-court matches in 2022. In the 2000s, only Kim Clijsters (59 in 2003 and 51 in 2005), Agnieszka Radwanska (52 in 2013), Jelena Jankovic (50 in 2008) and Lindsay Davenport (49 in 2001) have had more hard-court match-wins in a single year.
Year-end #WTA Top 10:— WTA Insider (@WTA_insider) November 8, 2022
1. Iga Swiatek: 11085
2. Ons Jabeur: 5055
3. Jessica Pegula: 4691
4. Caroline Garcia: 4375
5. Aryna Sabalenka: 3925
6. Maria Sakkari: 3871
7. Coco Gauff: 3646
8. Daria Kasatkina: 3435
9. Veronika Kudermetova: 2795
10. Simona Halep: 2661 pic.twitter.com/j4XJo3G4Aw
No.1 seeds Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova were unable to defend their 2021 title, falling at the last hurdle. But they, too, had a career-best season with wins at three of the four majors and completing the career Golden Slam at the US Open.
Siniakova finished as the year-end World No.1 for the third time in the past five years.
And no one got into the Fort Worth spirit this week more than Krejcikova, who was not only the week's most attentive tennis fan, but also mastered the art of the line dance:
*insert Cotton Eye Joe song*— wta (@WTA) November 2, 2022
🤠 @BKrejcikova x @WTAFinals 🤠 pic.twitter.com/xiu8BKfjhC