Serena Williams became the first woman since Martina Hingis in 1997 to lift 11 or more titles in a season last night, as she saw off Li Na in the WTA Championship Finals in Istanbul, 2-6, 6-3, 6-0.
Williams has dominated her matches throughout the tournament and it was widely thought that despite resistance from Na, it would be a 2 set match heavily dominated by Williams' serving power and ability to hit winners against the serve.
This meant that the first set came as a huge shock, as the Chinese player raced through the first set, not allowing her opponent too many opportunities. Williams had a chances towards the end of the set as Na couldn't quite get over the line, eventually converting the set at the fourth time of asking.
The game had now been turned on its head, as Williams was far from the powerhouse that she had been throughout the tournament and it began to look as though the grueling schedule of the tournament had began to affect her. Her movement wasn't as sharp as usual and too many shots were landing wide.
However, the Champion within the American came out in the second set as she converted a marathon 12 minute game that went to nine deuces. This seemed to take it out of Na who began to make mistakes she hadn't made in the first set, a couple of poor serves and wide forehands gave Williams a golden chance to take the set. She obliged and leveled the match at one set all.
A different complexion had now taken over the game and far from Williams being tired it seemed as though the mammoth effort that Na had exerted in the first set was slowly catching up with her.
She failed to stamp her authority at all in the final set, a poor service game at the start from Na set the scene for the remaining five games, all of which Williams won to secure her fourth title at the WTA Tour Finals.
Williams becomes the first player since Justine Henin in 2007 to retain the title and was well deserved , as it caps one of the most dominate seasons in the history of the WTA and women's tennis as a whole.
The American has played 82 matches this year and has won an incredible 78 of them, with her only real disappointment coming in the form of a Fourth Round exit to the big-hitting German Sabine Lisicki at her beloved Wimbledon.
For Li Na though, the defeat wasn't all bad news, as her strong end to the season will see her rise to World Number three and gives her a solid basis to build from over the off-season.
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