Serena Williams reigns supreme
Serena Williams finished her superb season with victory over Maria Sharapova in the final of the WTA Championships.
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Williams avenged her defeat to Sharapova in the final of the 2004 tournament with a 6-4 6-3 win on Sunday.
The 31-year-old, who did not drop a set all week in Istanbul, never looked in trouble as she won inside an hour and a half to claim a third title at the prestigious season-ending event, taking her year's earnings to more than US$7million. She is the oldest-ever winner of the event.
Williams blasted 40 winners to Sharapova's 14 as she beat the reigning French Open champion for the 10th time in 12 career meetings.
Despite going into the match as a hot favourite, Williams revealed she took the pressure off herself by making out she was the underdog.
"I actually thought about the last time we played at the WTA Championships, and she won, and she's also ranked ahead of me right now, so I really had nothing to lose," the champion said.
"I feel great right now. This was exactly my dream and I'm so happy I was able to achieve it."
The title was Williams' seventh of an impressive 2012 campaign, one which has seen her win Wimbledon and the US Open, as well as the gold medal at the London Olympics.
Only in 2002 did she won more tournaments (eight) in a single season.
Williams finishes the year with a 58-4 win-loss record and will now go into 2013 as a hot favourite to win the Australian Open.
The beaten Sharapova said: "She had another great serving day against me - I don't think I even had a break point.
"Maybe it was partly me not doing enough on the returns and partly she was serving well. But that's one of the reasons she's such a great champion and has had a tremendous amount of success in her career."
There was better news for Russia in the doubles tournament as Maria Kirilenko and Nadia Petrova completed a weekend of upsets to beat the second seeds Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka 6-1 6-4.
They had beaten top seeds Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci in the semi-finals.