WTA Finals: The best of Singapore in tweets and Instagram photos from tennis stars

Serena Williams and Billie Jean King take a selfie together after the WTA Finals held at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on Oct 26, 2014. -- ST PHOTO: CAROLINE CHIA
Serena Williams and Billie Jean King take a selfie together after the WTA Finals held at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on Oct 26, 2014. -- ST PHOTO: CAROLINE CHIA

SINGAPORE - Perhaps the only thing hotter than the weather in Singapore over the past week and a half was the tennis fever which swept through the Lion City.

The inaugural BNP Paribas Woman's Tennis Association (WTA) Finals ended here on Sunday, with top seed Serena Williams thrashing Simona Halep 6-3, 6-0 to clinch the singles champion title.

The Romanian, who is 10 years younger than the 33-year-old Williams, had earlier dealt the American with her biggest defeat in 16 years in a round robin match (6-0, 6-2).

But revenge was sweet as Williams bounced back to pick up the US$2.047 million (S$2.6 million) prize cheque and receive the coveted Billie Jean King trophy from the 70-year-old tennis legend herself.

As the host city for the biggest women's tennis event, Singapore was lauded by WTA chief executive Stacey Allaster, who on Saturday described this edition as "the best WTA Finals in our history".

She added: "(I'd give it) 10 out of 10. It's exceeded our expectations."

Williams, who will be back here for the International Premier Tennis League in December, was also quick to praise Singapore: "It's been an amazing experience. I've had a wonderful time here. I think everyone has been incredibly hospitable."

Of course, while a success, the tournament was not without hiccups.

A leaking roof at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, where the matches were played, dripped water onto the court during a doubles match. Maria Sharapova and Caroline Wozniacki were plagued by blinding spotlights during their game.

Commentator Kevin Skinner also made a blunder by saying "goodbye from China" at the end of Sunday's singles final, much to the ire of many Singaporeans. He has since apologised.

Despite all that, the televised matches certainly placed Singapore firmly in the spotlight, often panning to national icons such as the Merlion in-between serves.

The Little Red Dot, which was chosen over Monterrey, Mexico, and Tianjin, China, as the venue for the games, also featured heavily on social media, as the players took to Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to share their experiences both on and off the court.

Here is a look at some of the best moments for Singapore on social media during the biggest women's tennis event of the year.

1. Sightseeing around Singapore

No trip (or major sports event) in Singapore would be complete without taking in the sights and sounds at some of the famous tourist attractions.

Larger than life themselves, the elite players fit right in alongside the Supertrees at Gardens by the Bay and the infinity pool at Marina Bay Sands.

 

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So it is Singapore at last! @zlatkonovkovic #dejan #idemo

A photo posted by Ana Ivanovic (@anaivanovic) onOct 10, 2014 at 4:13am PDT

 

Thank you Singapore! Had great time. See you next year

Ein von Ana Ivanovic (@anaivanovic) gepostetes Foto amOkt 10, 2014 at 6:55 PDT

Indian doubles champion Sania Mirza and Canadian singles finalist Eugenie Bouchard could not get enough of the high altitude views, which at times gave them goosebumps.

 

Scary

A photo posted by Genie Bouchard (@geniebouchard) onOct 10, 2014 at 8:14am PDT

 

Tough to feel down when u wake up to this every morning #lookatthebiggerpicture #itsallinthehead #blessed

A photo posted by Sania Mirza (@mirzasaniar) onOct 10, 2014 at 2:20am PDT

The Sports Hub was at the centre of attention too, with the matches being played at the Indoor Stadium, and the newly built National Stadium just a volley away.

 

Morning practice with super coach #wtafinals #singapore

A photo posted by Petra Kvitova (@petra.kvitova) onOct 10, 2014 at 9:22pm PDT

Russian powerhouse and world second seed Sharapova may have made an early exit from the tournament, but she quickly found her bridge over troubled water, not to mention a Duck Tour ride.

 

The bridges of #Singapore are a photogenic bunch so I just keep taking their picture. #architecture #design

A photo posted by Maria Sharapova (@mariasharapova) onOct 10, 2014 at 4:13am PDT

 

It's not every day you get to walk on a bridge like this. #architecture #modern #design

A photo posted by Maria Sharapova (@mariasharapova) onOct 10, 2014 at 3:49am PDT

 

Oh hey #singapore!

A photo posted by Maria Sharapova (@mariasharapova) onOct 10, 2014 at 4:14am PDT

2. Fun off the court

When they were not busy scoring aces and winners, the players, both young and old, treated themselves to plenty of "extra-curricular activities" off the court.

It was the clash of the divas when good pals Serena Williams and Caroline Wozniacki attended Mariah Carey's concert last Friday, and posed for photos with The Elusive Chanteuse.

 

@Mariahcarey #Divas

Ein von Serena Williams (@serenawilliams) gepostetes Foto amOkt 10, 2014 at 9:20 PDT

 

Best night ever! Got to celebrate my win today at @mariahcarey 's concert in Singapore! She was amazing!!

A photo posted by Caroline Wozniacki (@carowozniacki) onOct 10, 2014 at 9:00am PDT

Of course, Singapore is all about the food, as the good friends would have us know while enjoying a view of Gardens by the Bay over dinner.

 

Dinner with @serenawilliams in Singapore

Фото опубликовано Caroline Wozniacki (@carowozniacki) вкл.окт 10, 2014 at 7:18 PDT

Tennis legend and gay rights advocate Billie Jean King, whom the challenge trophy is named after, squeezed in some time to meet non-profit movement PinkDot SG.

Serbian player Ana Ivanovic made some children happy at a tennis clinic at Raffles Institution, while Sharapova left a sweet taste for her fans with the launch here of her Sugarpova gummy candies.

Czech player Petra Kvitova pampered her tired hands with a manicure, and brushed up on the latest Sports news with, well, The Straits Times.

All these social media snippets would not have been possible, of course, if the women did not spend a lot of quality time on their phones.

3. Selfies and such

Sure, there was always the pressure to play good tennis, but first, let them take a #Selfie.

 

WTA Finals Singapore!!! Here we go. Let the games begin!!! #ajde @zlatkonovkovic #dejan #dule #teamivanovic

Une photo publiée par Ana Ivanovic (@anaivanovic) leOct. 10, 2014 at 7:40 PDT

 

Good night everyone. After a long and busy day it's time for me to get ready for bed #singapore #wtafinals

A photo posted by Petra Kvitova (@petra.kvitova) onOct 10, 2014 at 5:38am PDT

 

Obsessed w this pool & view #57thfloor

Een foto die is geplaatst door Genie Bouchard (@geniebouchard) opOkt 10, 2014 at 9:45 PDT

 

@mariahcarey concert

A photo posted by Serena Williams (@serenawilliams) onOct 10, 2014 at 9:17am PDT

Even legends have their heroes. No surprise then that they were a little more than star-struck with each other.

4. Goodbye and thank you

As the saying goes, all good things must come to an end, and so must the WTA Finals on our sunny island. But not before Williams showed off some of her gymnastic skills, and that shiny trophy of hers.

 

A photo posted by Serena Williams (@serenawilliams) onOct 10, 2014 at 6:29pm PDT

 

Handstands with the trophy

A photo posted by Serena Williams (@serenawilliams) onOct 10, 2014 at 6:46pm PDT

 

Oh mama

A photo posted by Serena Williams (@serenawilliams) onOct 10, 2014 at 6:28pm PDT

At the end of the day, it seemed like the tropical humidity and hospitality won over our celebrity visitors, who were full of warm praises for Singapore.

Here’s hoping we will see them again soon. In the meantime, a goodbye kiss will have to do.

yeosamjo@sph.com.sg