Serena overpowers Sharapova in WTA Champs final

Serena overpowers Sharapova in WTA Champs final

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Serena overpowers Sharapova in WTA Champs final

AFP photo

Serena Williams beat Maria Sharapova today to win the year-ending WTA Championships tournament in Istanbul after a final that brought the two biggest stars in women's tennis. 

American tennis star Williams beat her Russian rival in two sets (6-4, 6-3) at the Sinan Erdem Dome in Istanbul. "The Turkish fans are amazing," Serena said in front of a sold-out crowd.

"I've never seen so many signs in support of me." The crowd, however, was not equally welcoming for Istanbul Mayor Kadir Topbaş, Transportation Minister Binali Yıldırım and Family Minister Fatma Şahin, who were jeered and booed when stepping on the court during the award ceremony. The win capped an illustrious year for Williams, third-ranked player in women's tennis. She had come to Istanbul at the end of a tennis season, where she also won the Wimbledon, US Open titles in addition to the Olympic women’s gold medal.

In a rematch of the Olympic final in London, Williams took control of the game after she broke the Russian's serve to take a 3-2 lead, and then went on to win the first set.  

Williams increased her domination in the second set, starting the set with breaking the serve. Both players hung on to their serves until the end of the set, but Williams finished the game with a break.Second-ranked Sharapova, on the other hand, had a successful season as well, having won the French Open title.

The Russian superstar had an otherwise great week, having beaten Victoria Azarenka of Belarus, the top-ranked player, in the semifinal.Earlier, Russian duo Maria Kirilenko and Nadia Petrova outlasted their Czech opponents Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka in two sets (6-1, 6-4) in the doubles’ final.