Serena Williams makes history in comeback against Li


Serena Williams ended the best season of her career in suitable style, coming from behind to beat Li Na 2-6, 6-3, 6-0 yesterday for her second consecutive WTA Championship.

Williams collected her 11th title of the year and became the first player to defend the title since Justine Henin in 2007.

The American won her fourth WTA Championship, having captured the elite tournament of the eight top-ranked players also in her debut in 2001 and in 2009 and 2012.

Williams has won 78 of 82 matches this year and will finish the year as the top ranked player for the third time in her career after 2002 and 2009.

The 32-year-old described herself as having hit a wall after a strange performance in beating Jelena Jankovic in the semi-finals, and first-time finalist Li – the world No 3 from China – dominated the first set.

But Williams found her game in the second and then romped through the decider to win after two hours and nine minutes.

Juan Martin del Potro denied Roger Federer his hometown Swiss Indoors title for the second straight year, winning the final 7-6 (7-3), 2-6, 6-4 on Sunday. The top-seeded Argentine clinched the title when Federer could not return a forcing forehand.

Federer looked to the home comforts and raucous support at Basel, where he is a five-time champion, to revive his season and has now won just one title in 14 months. Still, the sixth-ranked Swiss edged closer to a place in the eight-man line-up at the ATP World Tour Finals in London starting a week on Monday.

“I am a winner, I don’t take much confidence from losing matches,” Federer said. “I am happy about the level of my play, it’s getting better, but it’s not in losing where I get much confidence.”

Heather Watson’s run in Poitiers, France, came to an end in the semi-finals of the ITF tournament. The Briton had won three matches at a tournament for the first time this year but lost 6-4, 2-6, 6-2 to Swede Sofia Arvidsson.

Britain’s Dominic Inglot has won his second ATP World Tour doubles title in Basle with Filipino partner  Treat Huey. They recovered from losing the second set to Austrians Julian Knowle and Oliver Marach to win 6-3, 3-6, 10-4 on a match tie-break. The victory also kept alive their slim hopes of qualifying for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London, heading into next week’s Paris Masters, which is the final chance to garner points..