The WTA Finals in singapore has delivered the first genuine thriller of this edition. It was an all-around battle between Venus Williams and Jelena Ostapenko that lasted more than three hours before Williams claimed the victory. This match would go down as one of the best encounters of 2017 in terms of quality of tennis delivered.

Ranked fifth in the world, at 37 years of age, Venus Williams never ceases to amaze with her true commitment to sports in general and the game of tennis in particular. On the other side, young Latvian Jelena Ostapenko deserves credit for fighting hard until the end.

As usual, she has delivered another lesson of instinctive tennis. Unfortunately, today's defeat will shrink her chances to get out of the White Group alive.

An outstanding demonstration of pure tennis

Both Williams and Ostepanko have lost in straight sets the opening match which gave them an even heavier burden to carry for the second session. It's fair to state from the get-go that this match hung by a thread up until the end and a flurry of beaks made it even harder to predict the final outcome.

The opening set saw Jelena Ostapenko (7 WTA) taking the initiative first, but her risky game plan comes with a high cost. On the other side, Venus Williams had her own issues while trying to put the first serve in more often.

A few ups and downs from both sides led to a 5-5 near-to-perfection balance. Venus went on to hold her serve and then the pressure moved to Ostapenko's shoulders. Finding herself with the back on the wall, the Latvian caved in allowing her opponent to convert the first set point opportunity.

A similar story unfolded throughout the second set too, with none of them being able to take a commanding lead.

Still, an inspired Venus found her way to a first match point at 5-4. She failed to convert it and after another exchange of breaks, the act went into a tie-break. This time, the young blood prevailed as Ostapenko soared up to win the set thus pushing the encounter into a decisive third act. At that time, the clock had passed the two-hour milestone.

Ostapenko failed to translate the momentum into the first win in Singapore

Although it seemed the Latvian can ride upon the back of the momentum she had created, things are hard to anticipate. The entire set seemed like a boxing match with both fighters keeping a low guard just for the sake of entertainment. Once again, none of them was able to get a decisive statement. At 5-5, Williams had the last push, which secured her another break. She went on to serve out the match immediately after converting the third match point of the encounter.

It's a pity that the 20-year-old will have no reason for celebration after such a grueling encounter, but her career has just started. On the other side, the 37-year-old American is living another great story.