Kim Clijsters came through a tough battle with world number one Caroline Wozniacki to win the year-ending WTA Tour Championships in Doha.
The players braved humid conditions, exchanging several breaks of serve, before the Belgian came through 6-3 5-7 6-3.
The match was a repeat of the 2009 US Open final, the only previous meeting between the players, with Clijsters emerging victorious on that occasion.
And the Belgian claimed the early advantage in Doha, breaking in a competitive opening game - which lasted eight minutes - before holding serve to take a 2-0 lead.
Wozniacki responded by taking the next two games to level matters, but the Dane was struggling for consistency and further breaks for Clijsters in the fifth and ninth games saw the third seed clinch a hard-fought opening set in 54 minutes.
Clijsters was beginning to motor now, playing some lovely forehand winners, while Wozniacki appeared slightly troubled by the heat, using an ice pack between games.
The world number one found herself facing two more break points in game four of the second set, saving the first but unable to do anything to keep out a confident Clijsters on the second point as the US Open champion opened up a 3-1 lead.
Wozniacki found something in reserve, though, and a determined forehand in game seven allowed the Dane to claim the break back before holding serve to level the set at 4-4.
Clijsters looked to be feeling the heat now and some uncharacteristic errors in game 11 allowed her opponent to break again for a 6-5 lead before holding serve to set up a decider.
The pair exchanged further breaks at the start of the third as they wrestled for control of the match, but it was Clijsters who eventually gained the advantage with a decisive break in the sixth before going on to claim the win in two hours and 20 minutes.
Clijsters said afterwards: ‘I'm delighted to win. It was a tough battle and I want to say congratulations to Caroline on making it to number one in the rankings.
‘I'm sure she has a great future in the game.’