Serena wins WTA title in Istanbul

ISTANBUL: Her year filled with titles and trophies over, Serena Williams can at last admit it: this was a title she had her eye on.

Not that any more evidence of her all-consuming, powerful game was needed, but Williams gave it anyway. She dismissed Maria Sharapova 6-4, 6-3 on Sunday to win the WTA Championships for the third time and finish the year with another title, but not the top ranking.

”Now that I can be honest, I really wanted to win,” Williams said. ”I wanted it so bad, but I didn’t want to say it… It was really important for me to end the year with this title in particular.”

Williams ended the year with a 59-4 record and seven titles.

Since her first-round loss at the French Open, she is 31-1, winning Wimbledon, the Olympic gold medal and the US Open.

The 31-year-old Williams became the oldest player to capture the year-end championships. But she will finish the year ranked No. 3, behind No. 1 Victoria Azarenka and No. 2 Sharapova, because she did not play as well in the first half of the year. Azarenka lost to Sharapova in the semifinals. (AP)