World no. 2 Iga Swiatek defeated World no. 22 Liudmila Samsonova 6-2, 6-2 in the China Open final in Beijing to claim her 16th career title and fifth title of the season on Sunday morning (Oct. 8).
The Polish 22-year-old is the first player since Serena Williams in 2014-2015 to win five or more titles in consecutive seasons.
Swiatek was dominant throughout, facing no break point in either set with Russia's Samsonova and tallying zero unforced errors through the match.
"I think this is what she's doing the best because this is the stress that she made to other players, that she doesn't make unforced errors," said Samsonova of her opponent.
"Every time you need to do something more. It's not real what you feel, but she makes you feel like this. This is what I learned today."
The previous day Swiatek broke Coco Gauff's 16-match winning streak in the semi-finals.
19-year-old Gauff, now at World no. 3, won her first Grand Slam at the US Open at the end of August. Her sixteen-match winning run was the longest by an American teenager since Serena Williams in 1999.
However, she was visibly struggling with an injury to her right shoulder as that run came to an end with her 6-2 6-3 loss to Swiatek, and she was forced to take a medical time-out in the last set. Swiatek has defeated Gauff at eight of their nine meetings.
"I'm happy that I won because for sure this is really big for me!" said Swiatek.
"Winning this title is something I never would've thought at the beginning of the tournament. I'm pretty proud of myself."
Swiatek is now chasing Aryna Sabalenka for the year-end World no. 1 slot, which will be decided at the WTA Finals in Cancun at the end of this month. Sabalenka leads by 630 points; 1500 will be available in Cancun.
The China Open did not take place last year after the WTA suspended competitions in China over fears of former player Peng Shuai's safety after she accused ranking Chinese official Zhang Gaoli of sexual assault and subsequently disappeared from social media and all but a few scripted public appearances. The suspension was lifted in April, though neither of the WTA's conditions — a meeting with Peng and a thorough investigation into her claims — were met.