Serena Williams beat Maria Sharapova 6-4, 6-3 on Sunday to win the WTA Championships for the third time and finish the year with another title although not the top ranking.
Williams ended the year with a 59-4 record. Since her first-round loss at the French Open, the American is 31-1, winning Wimbledon, the Olympic gold medal and the U.S. Open.
But she will finish the year ranked No. 3, behind Sharapova.
Victoria Azarenka, beaten by Sharapova in the semifinals, ended the year as the top-ranked player in the world.
In 2001 and '09 Williams also won the elite, year-end tournament that brings together the top eight players in the world.
Williams raced forward to reach a drop shot and put away a passing-shot winner but the seventh game still went to Sharapova after five deuces. But the American was pumping her fist and there was no holding her back as Williams closed out the set with an ace - one of 11 she had in the match.
She broke Sharapova's serve to start the second a...