Istanbul, Turkey (4E Sports) – Top seed Serena Williams bounced back from a one-set deficit en route to a 2-6, 6-3, 6-0 victory over world No. 3 Li Na to bag the WTA Championships-Istanbul title for the fourth time in her career.
“I don’t know how I got through that one,” Williams 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. Wow, thank God.”
With the victory, Williams became the fourth player ever to win four or more titles at this event, behind Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova and Steffi Graf. She also became the first player to win 11 WTA titles in a season since 1997 when Martina Hingis won 12.
Williams also now has $12,385,572 in prize money for the year, shattering the all-time women’s record set last year by Victoria Azarenka ($7,923,920).
Li was phenomenal in the first set, blasting a huge crosscourt backhand to break for 2-1, and hitting a backhand return winner to break again for a 4-1 advantage.
However, Williams raced out to a 3-0 lead in the second set to gain momentum. Li tied the set at 3-all but Williams reeled off the nine straight games to complete victory.
In Switzerland, Juan Martin del Potro picked up his fourth title after he retained the Swiss Indoors Basel crown with a 7-6(3), 2-6, 6-4 win over five-time former champion Roger Federer in a repeat of last year’s final
“It was similar in intensity, rallies and the emotion of the fans to the 2012 final,” said del Potro, who finished the match in two hours and 21 minutes.
With the loss, Federer must beat Kevin Anderson or Mikhail Youzhny in his second round match at the BNP Paribas Masters in Paris Wednesday to qualify for a record-tying 12th consecutive year at the ATP World Tour Finals.
In Spain, Mikhail Youzhny won his second ATP World Tour crown of the season with a 6-3, 7-5 victory over defending champion David Ferrer in the final of the Valencia Open 500.
It was Youzhny’s 10th career title and first victory over a Top 5 opponent since 2010, when he upset Novak Djokovic in the Rotterdam semifinal.
The Russian has won multiple titles in one year for the first time since 2010, when he hoisted the trophies in Munich and Kuala Lumpur.