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Serena Williams has won the WTA Championships in Doha by defeating the defending champion, her sister Venus Williams, in straight sets.
Serena Williams is truly on top of the tennis world. Not only has she won the season-ending event here in Doha, but she will also finish the year as the world's number one player.
Her last match of the season put her up against older sister Venus for the 22nd time in their careers, and both players came on court looking strong.
But things would soon change.
After just two games, Serena managed to break Venus' serve. Two games later she did it again and eventually went on to take the first set 6-2 with a minimal amount of effort.
Venus picked up her play in the second set. She improved her serve and made fewer unforced errors, but could not dominate play. The second set went to a tiebreak. Serena worked her way to an early lead and soon found herself at match point.
With a winner to the back court she defeated last year's title holder and won the 2009 WTA Championship, 6-2, 7-6.
After the match Serena admitted it was not easy.
"We definitely weren't physically one hundred percent out there today, but it just shows you how much we try," she said. "Even in the second set, how hard we just both fought. Especially Venus. She was getting every ball back."
Venus says she will not let the loss to Serena discourage her.
"I'll just continue to learn from everything and, more than anything, just continue to enjoy what I do," she said.
This was the second year the WTA Championships were held in Doha. Qatar also will host the tournament in 2010.
The draw is made up of the top eight players in the world. This year's lineup included four women who had been number one at one point, three Grand Slam champions and four who had been to at least one major final.
Caroline Wozniacki was one of two players participating in the championships for the first time.
The 19-year-old Dane won over the crowds with her will to win, fighting off severe cramps to defeat Victoria Azarenka and Vera Zvonareva in the two longest matches of the tournament. But her body was unable to take much more and she ended up retiring in the semifinals after losing a set to Serena Williams.
Despite the loss, she says the experience was invaluable.
"I learned that I'm a huge fighter and that impossible is nothing, and next time I step on the court I'll try to play even better than I did here," Wozniacki said.
Wozniacki was one of four women forced to withdraw from the tournament because of injuries, raising familiar concerns that the women of the WTA tour are overworked. However, former U.S. Open champion Tracy Austin thinks the problem was more due to the location of the tournament than the WTA schedule.
"I think the WTA has done a wonderful job of shortening the season already," Austin said. "And I think it's going to be beneficial to the players. But I think also the heat and the humidity, with two players cramping, was a struggle because they lost so much water and it was so humid. You could just see Jankovic wring her hair out and Dementieva wring her sweat band out and so I think that added to the issues."
Jelena Jankovic, the fourth player in the semis besides Wozniacki and the Williams sisters, admits the conditions were tough.
"Our dresses are completely soaked and my hair is full of sweat, so when I'm serving sweat is going all over the place," Jankovic said.
Champion Serena Williams will take home more than $1.5 million from Doha, but the fairy-tale ending to her year could all change next month.
That's when the WTA will decide on the penalty she will get for apparently threatening a line judge at this year's U.S. Open in New York. A ban from next year's tournament is apparently a possibility.