ISTANBUL — After smacking her 40th and final winner of the match on a forehand service return on championship point, Serena Williams clenched her left fist, then punched the air with her right. She then skipped to the net as winner of the WTA Championships for the third time, having defeated Maria Sharapova, 6-4, 6-3, in the final Sunday. After the two shook hands, Williams turned and waved to the crowd on all sides of the sold-out Sinan Erdem Arena, a crowd that brought a level of noise and enthusiasm to the championships far exceeding previous events.
“Now that I can be honest, I really wanted to win and win this title and put a little pressure on myself,” Williams said in her postmatch news conference. “Yeah, I wanted it so bad, but I didn’t want to say it. I’m really excited that I was able to win it.”
Williams added: “I was like a heavy favorite going in to win this title, so for me it was really important. I mean, for my own sanity, so to say. I really wanted it, even though I didn’t need it. Like I don’t think I needed to do anything else this year — or any other year — but I really wanted to end on a good note.”