Saturday, October 26, 2013

2013 WTA YEC: Serena vs Li Na In Final

As expected, Serena Williams continued her recent undefeated streak by outlasting Jelena Jankovic 6-4 2-6 6-4 in the semifinals of the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships in Istanbul. Williams will face Li Na, who defeated the 2011 WTA Championships winner Petra Kvitova 6-4 6-2. With her win, Li will reach world #3 for the first time, becoming the highest ranked player of Asian descent, male or female.

Serena was clearly physically hampered in her match with Jankovic, who is one of the rare players on tour to have beaten Serena four times and matches up well with her. Oddly, both players ended the match with an equal number of winners and errors, 40 each for Williams and 22 each for Jankovic. But somehow Serena was able to gut out her record 77th win of the year.

In the final, Serena has a 9-1 head-to-head advantage over Li Na, although the two have played some relatively close matches this year that were decided by a single service break or less per set. With Serena ailing and Li Na ascendant, this is probably the Chinese player's best chance to score  a big win over Serena.

However, Serena is playing in her 6th year-end championship (having won 3 times before, including last year) while Li Na is playing in her first. Serena is playing for history, since only Chris Evert (4), Steffi Graf (6) and Martina Navratilova (8) have won more than four year-end championships.

MadProfessah's prediction: Serena.

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