SINGAPORE - Seven times before, Caroline Wozniacki had been trounced by her opponent across the net, winning just one set in those clashes.
She chose the biggest occasion of all to post her first victory, beating Venus Williams 6-4, 6-4 to win the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global.
In lifting the Billie Jean King Trophy, the world No. 6 becomes the first Dane to win the prestigious season finale of the women's tour.
Wozniacki showed up with aggressive tennis and rarely let errors slip from her racket, committing just eight unforced errors through the 1h 29min match to clinch the biggest title of her career.
She was up 5-0 in the second set, until Williams surged with a late comeback to trail 4-5. Wozniacki served it out at the second time of asking.
Said the 27-year-old: "I'm still shaking. I was playing well, everything was going well, and Venus just starts upping her game. She started serving to my body. I'm just so happy that I won in the end.
"Eight is my lucky number. I thought if I had to beat her at least once in my career it has to be today. It's really sweet, it's amazing. I couldn't be happier right now."
Williams has now come agonisingly close to a notable title for the third time this season, having lost the finals at the Australian Open (to sister Serena) and Wimbledon (to Garbine Muguruza).
Said Williams: "I didn't seem to come up with my best tennis until the end. I'll try to play a little better earlier next time."