Singapore: Serena Williams sealed her fifth WTA Finals title and took sweet revenge for her crushing loss to Simona Halep when she hammered the Romanian 6-3, 6-0 in Singapore on Sunday.
The 18-time Grand Slam-winner was broken early in the match but she reeled off eight games in a row to humiliatingly "bagel" Halep, five days after the Romanian`s 6-0, 6-2 win in group play.
The peerless Williams yet again proved she remains on top of women`s tennis at the age of 33 after becoming the first player to win the season finale three times in a row since Monica Seles in 1992.
"She was playing so well and I was literally on the side of the court and I just laughed. I said, `Serena, you have nothing to lose. Just relax!" Williams said.
"And then once I relaxed I just started playing better and kept making my shots."
Williams fired 26 winners to just five conceded as she sealed her fifth year-end title in a fourth different city, ending 2014 on a high as the world number one and US Open champion.
Alarm bells rang for Williams early on and she conceded the match`s first break to go behind 1-2, to chants of "Si-mo-na" at Singapore`s Indoor Stadium.
But the defending champion hit straight back, and aided by Halep`s double faults she shrieked "Come on!" as she completed a sequence of three game wins in a row.
Halep`s raking cross-court forehand got it back on serve but the frustrated Romanian pummelled her racquet on the floor as she was broken again to go 3-5 down, before Williams served out the set.
With Williams firmly in the groove, Halep`s hopes of becoming the first player to beat the American in the same week were fast receding as it became an exercise in damage-limitation.
But a grimly determined Williams wasn`t letting up and as she punished Halep`s second serve and repeatedly rushed to the net, the second set raced past in just 25 minutes.
Williams brought up three match points on Halep`s serve and after trying to cheekily drop-shot the first, she smashed home the second before celebrating with her arms aloft.
Williams, who withdrew from the China Open with a left knee injury, picks up the $2,047,000 winner`s cheque along with the Billie Jean King trophy, which she also lifted in 2001, 2009, 2012 and 2013.
"I didn`t expect this. I just started training because I had such a knee in Beijing so I wasn`t even sure if I would be able to play here," she said.
"And now I`ve won the Billie Jean King trophy again so for me it`s just really amazing, I`m so excited."
Fourth-ranked Halep had impressed in her wins against Bouchard, Williams and Agnieszka Radwanska as she became the first Romanian and the eighth debutante to reach the final.