Placed in front of the biggest crowd to show up all week at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, Agnieszka Radwanska put up a colossal fight yesterday at the final of the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore tennis tournament to lift the most prized trophy of her career so far.
The Pole, the first player from her country to compete in the prestigious season finale, beat Czech Petra Kvitova 6-2, 4-6, 6-3.
She pocketed US$2.05 million (S$2.8 million) for the victory, and sealed the year-end world No. 5 spot in the rankings.
More significantly, the win gave her a fulfilling finish to what had been a trying season. She qualified for the event, limited to the top eight players of the season, only about two weeks ago.
Fighting back tears, Radwanska thanked the crowd as she described the "biggest day" of her life.
"It's an incredible day for me," she said. "I didn't even know if I would be here."
The capacity crowd had made sure their appreciation of the 26-year-old's shotmaking was audible during as well as after the match.
This year's event, presented by SC Global, was the second of five editions that Singapore - the first city in the Asia-Pacific to hold the tournament - will play host to.
Tournament director and vice-president for WTA Asia-Pacific Melissa Pine said that in subsequent editions, the Tour will look into greater year-round engagement and promotion of the sport.
In the doubles event, Switzerland's Martina Hingis and India's Sania Mirza will finish the year the top-ranked pair on the Tour, after they routed Spaniards Garbine Muguruza and Carla Suarez Navarro 6-0, 6-3.