Two legendsThe WTA Finals is the event where the crème de la crème of the Tour assembles to fight for the coveted season-ending title. A win in this tournament is a matter of much prestige and requires even harder work than the Slams as, unlike the Slams, here each opponent is a tough nut to crack.Since its inception in 1972, there have been many winners at the WTA Finals – some have managed to win it just once and some multiple times. With Agnieszka Radwanska taking a hard-fought victory tonight against the higher-seeded Petra Kvitova, it is the perfect time to take a look back at some of the most successful players in the history of this prestigious year-ending tournament.
#1 Martina Navratilova: 8 titles
Any mention of the WTA Finals remains incomplete without talking about Martina Navratilova. Till date, the 18-time Slam champion has remained its most successful winner with a whopping eight singles titles (1978-1979, 1981, 1983-1986) and 12 doubles titles!
The Czech-turned-American legend was simply ruthless at this championships and she went on a spectacular run of five consecutive title wins from 1983 to 1986 (including two wins in 1986), dispatching every opponent with consummate ease. What makes it an even more incredible effort is that her wins since 1984 were over best of five sets as the final of the WTA Finals used to be in that format from 1984-1998.
In doubles too, Navratilova was at the top of her game in the 1980s as she and Pam Shriver were an absolutely formidable pair and they scooped up 10 doubles titles. The two other doubles titles for Martina came with Billie Jean King and Betty Stove.
The ace has also won the legends title at this year’s tournament.
Martina Navratilova’s eight singles titles
1978 Martina Navratilova def Evonne Goolagong Cawley 7–6(7–0), 6–4
1979 Martina Navratilova def Tracy Austin 6–3, 3–6, 6–2
1981 Martina Navratilova def Andrea Jaeger 6–3, 7–6(7–3)
1983 Martina Navratilova def Chris Evert 6–2, 6–0
1984 Martina Navratilova def Chris Evert 6–3, 7–5, 6–1
1985 Martina Navratilova def Helena Suková 6–3, 7–5, 6–4
1986 (Mar.) Martina Navratilova def Hana Mandlíková 6–2, 6–0, 3–6, 6–1
1986 (Nov.) Martina Navratilova def Steffi Graf 7–6(8–6), 6–3, 6–2