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Serena Williams by Getty Images
Serena Williams completed her superb season by winning her third TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships title with a 6-4, 6-3 victory over Maria Sharapova in Istanbul.
The victory gives Williams a seventh title of a glittering 2012 campaign, a 46th career singles title and adds to her 2001 and 2009 successes at the prestigious year-end event.
French Open champion Sharapova had knocked out World No.1 Victoria Azarenka in the semi-final and competed well in the final. The Russian stayed with the American until the fifth game when Williams unleashed a down the line backhand to break serve.
World No.3 Williams struck three aces to consolidate the break and sealed the set with another trademark ace to take the opener after 45 minutes.
Wimbledon, US Open and Olympic champion Williams maintained the momentum by breaking in the first game of the second set with an emphatic smash.
Sharapova battled well and stayed with the American after fending off a break point in the seventh game but the Russian could not make inroads on the Williams delivery.
With the Russian serving at 3-5 Williams ripped off four straight winners to seal victory with a crushing forehand return winner after an hour and 29 minutes of play.
Stat Attack – Williams
Stat Attack – Sharapova
The unseeded pairing of Maria Kirilenko and Nadia Petrova took the doubles title in Istanbul with a 6-1, 6-4 defeat of second seeds Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka at the WTA Championships.
The Russians, who only qualified at the last opportunity, saw off both of the world’s top two pairs and dominated the final that saw the Olympic bronze medallists beat the silver medallists from London 2012.
Kirilenko and Petrova are the first all-Russian team to lift the prestigious title, 30 year-old Petrova had also won the title with American Meghann Shaughnessy in 2004.
Juan Martin Del Potro denied Roger Federer a sixth Swiss Open title with a battling 6-4, 6-7(5), 7-6(3) victory in Basel.
The giant Argentinean was coming off a title run in Vienna and continued that hot form against the Swiss favourite in the final. Some blistering groundstrokes forced Federer into error as Del Potro broke serve in the fifth game.
The second seed maintained the advantage and took the opener when a Federer backhand drifted wide after 34 minutes.
In a service dominated second set top seeded Federer crucially fended off a break point in the eleventh game with a gutsy forehand winner and claimed the only mini break of the tie-break to level the match.
Serving first in the decider Del Potro fought off four break points across two service games to stay with the World No.1. Games went with serve with Federer serving three straight aces to force a tie-break.
The top seed netted a short forehand to go down 2-4 and did not recover. A Hawkeye challenge saw one final Federer forehand land wide as Del Potro triumphed after two hours and 44 minutes.
Stat Attack – Del Potro
Stat Attack – Federer
David Ferrer lifted his third title at the Valencia Open by fighting past Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-1, 3-6, 6-4 to win his sixth title of 2012.
The top seeded Ferrer capitalised on a poor start from the Ukrainian as the World No.5 raced through the opening set with ease.
Dolgopolov responded by ripping a forehand onto the baseline to break for 2-0 in the second set and held onto the lead to level the match.
In a keenly fought decider Ferrer fended off two break points with vital forehands in the seventh game. The Spaniard created a match point with Dolgopolov serving at 4-5 which he converted with the Ukrainian netted a forehand.
Stat Attack – Ferrer
Stat Attack – Dolgopolov
3 – Wawrinka
No.1 (7) Nadal (Doha, Rio De Janeiro), Wawrinka (Chennai), Del Potro (Sydney), Fognini (Vina Del Mar), Ferrer (Buenos Aires), Nishikori (Memphis)No.2 (2) Djokovic (Indian Wells, Miami)No.3 (4) Isner (Auckland), Berdych (Rotterdam), Gulbis (Marseille), Wawrinka (Monte Carlo)No.4 (3) Federer (Dubai), Dimitrov (Acapulco), Verdasco (Houston)No.5 (2) Cilic (Zagreb), Monfils (Montpellier)No.7 (1) Cilic (Delray Beach)No.8 (2) Wawrinka (AUSTRALIAN OPEN), Garcia-Lopez (Casablanca)Unseeded (2) Hewitt (Brisbane), Delbonis (Sao Paulo)
61 - Delbonis (Sao Paulo)
23 – Wawrinka (Chennai)
64 – Dimitrov (Acapulco)
13 - Wawrinka, Djokovic
28 – Federer
331 - Ivo Karlovic
71 – Australian Open 1st round Simon bt Brands 6-7(4), 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 16-14
12 games - 6-0, 6-0 on 1 occasion
2 - Rio Open SF Nadal bt Andujar 2-6 6-3 7-6(10)Nadal saved 2 mp 3rd set tie-break
Delbonis (Sao Paulo) 23 years, 4 months & 15 days
Hewitt (Brisbane) 32 years, 10 months & 11 days
2 - Ivanovic, Li, S.Williams
No.1 (4) Li (Shenzhen), S.Williams (Brisbane, Miami), Cibulkova (Acapulco) No.2 (2) Ivanovic (Auckland, Monterray)No.3 (1) Zakopalova (Florianopolis)No.4 (3) Li (AUSTRALIAN OPEN), Makarova (Pattaya City), Cornet (Katowice)No.5 (2) Nara (Rio De Janeiro), Garcia (Bogota)No.7 (2) Halep (Doha), Vekic (Kuala Lumpar)No.14 (1) Petkovic (Charleston)No.20 (1) Pennetta (Indian Wells)Unseeded (2) Pavlyuchenkova (Paris), V.Williams (Dubai)Qualifier (2) Murgurza (Hobart), Pironkova (Sydney)
107 – Pironkova (Sydney)
22 – Murgurza (Hobart)
65 – Vekic (Kuala Lumpar)
13 – Li
24 – Cibulkova
174 - Karolina Pliskova
40 – Australian Open 2nd round - Hantuchova bt Karolina Pliskova 6-3, 3-6, 12-10
12 games - 6-0, 6-0 on 5 occasions
1 - Australian Open 3rd round: Li bt Safarova 1-6, 7-6(2), 6-3 Li saved saved 1 mp 5-6 2nd set 1 - Katowice Final: Cornet bt Giorgi 7-6(3), 5-7, 7-5 Cornet saved 1 mp 4-5 3rd set
Vekic (Kuala Lumpar) 17 yrs, 9 months & 23 days
V.Williams (Dubai) 33 yrs, 8 months & 5 days
Statistics sourced with the help of the ATP and WTA.