Wuhan - Venus Williams captured her 47th WTA career title on Saturday, and
her biggest in five years, when she won the Wuhan Open in China, beating
Wimbledon runner-up Garbine Muguruza.
The 35-year-old American
was leading Muguruza 6-3 3-0 when the Spaniard, struggling with injury,
retired, handing the title to Williams, who was already well on top and
had won the last five games in a row.
A sympathetic Williams
consoled Muguruza, one of the best young players in the game who had a
tough semi-final with Germany's Angelique Kerber, during the victory
"Congratulations Garbine for making the final,"
Williams said. "I know you had a tough match yesterday - it's not easy
when you don't play your best, and I probably didn't have a chance if
you felt well!"
Muguruza traded blows with Williams through most
of the first set but suddenly dropped her level of play after the
seventh game. The 21-year-old lost the next five games on the trot
before signalling she could not continue.
"This is a sad day today," said Muguruza.
"I'm very sorry I had to retire today, but I had a really amazing week here in Wuhan.
"I really want to congratulate Venus. She's always such a tough player and she had an amazing week, as well.
"For sure we'll play again soon, and it's going to be a tough match, of course."
ranked eighth in the world, Muguruza is projected to rise to a
career-best fifth when the new rankings are released on Monday.
will climb from 24th to 14th after capturing her first WTA title since
Auckland in January and her first Premier-5 level event since Dubai in
Williams chalked up her 700th career match win when
she won her second round clash with Germany's Julia Goerges but had
tough run to the final.
She was pushed to three sets by British
qualifier Johanna Konta in the quarter-finals 6-4, 3-6, 7-5 then saved a
match point in her semi-final victory over Italy's Roberta Vinci.
"It was a great week," Williams said. "To win the tournament and have the 700th...so, some great moments this week."