Serena Williams confirmed her dominance as World No 1 by retaining the WTA Championship title in Istanbul, it was her 11th trophy of the year. Williams beat the new World No 3 Li Na, 2-6 6-3 6-0, to wrap up a remarkable season.
Despite looking under par in a curious match against Jelena Jankovic on Saturday, she fought back from a set down in the final to claim the £7.6 million prize money. This means her win/loss record for 2013 is 78-4, the best since Steffi Graf recorded 86-2 in 1989.
A recent boost in grand slam prize money means the only player who has earned more than her in a single season is Novak Djokovic. In Istanbul’s, Sinan Erdem Stadium, a crowd of 16,457 watched the match, the biggest audience in the three years it has been held there.
Williams had described herself as having ‘hit a wall’ following the semi-final with Jankovic. After losing the first game, Li Na then polished off five games in a row. Williams looked leaden and sluggish and Li appeared confident after taking her first set from the defending champion in over four years.
During the second set Williams saved a break point and then broke Li’s serve, before saving two more break points to level the match. Having summoned the energy from somewhere, she took an early advantage in the final set after a costly double fault from Li, it was then pretty much a walk in the park to her final trophy of the season.
Williams, 32, became the events oldest winner, not a bad showing for someone who claimed her petrol gauge was on ‘empty‘ after the semi final!. After the match, the 17 time Grand Slam winner said, “ “I’ve just had a really long year, and I’m just really excited, honestly. I really didn’t expect to get through this match today,” Williams added. “I can’t believe I won. I was so tired. Honestly, did I really win? Because she played so well.”
Her coach Patrick Mouratoglou told BBC Sport “We’ve spoken about 2014 already with goals to do better than this year because I think it is possible,”
“If we keep this mentality I don’t see any reason why she would slow down.”
Fighting talk indeed, can anyone knock the ‘Queen’ of her throne , you wouldn’t bet on it would you. However, if you get over to Paddy Power, you can get odds of 100/1, yes that’s right, 100/1! on Serena Williams. Okay, its nothing to do with tennis, but could she be Rory Mcllroy’s next love interest?.