Welcome to Clay Chronicles, where wtatennis.com will take a look back at some of the most memorable matches from the clay seasons of recent history. In this installment, we revisit some of the best moments in the Turkish city of Istanbul in the tournament's clay-court history. A WTA Tour stop from 2005-10 and again since 2014 after the city hosted the WTA Finals, the 2005-09 editions were held on clay and the tournament surface returned to clay in 2016.
Shahar Peer def. Anastasia Myskina (1-6, 6-3, 7-6(3), 2006 final)
With Venus Williams not present to defend the title she won at the inaugural edition of the Istanbul tournament in 2005, a new champion was guaranteed a year later.
Former French Open champion Myskina, looking to win her first title on clay since winning Roland Garros in 2004, did not lose a set en route to a berth in the final, where she faced the in-form Shahar Peer, who was on the rise after turning professional in 2004 and winning two titles earlier in 2006.
Ranked World No.33, Peer scored her first two victories over players ranked inside the Top 15 to win her third title of the year and first in Istanbul. The No.4 seed also did not lose a set en route to the final, where she lost 11 games in four matches.
The Israeli beat World No.15 and No.2 seed Anna-Lena Groenefeld in the final four, 6-0, 6-2 -- her first-ever victory against a player ranked in the Top 15 -- and came back from the brink to beat the top-seeded Myskina in the final.
The Russian twice serves for the match in the final set, at 5-4 and 6-5, before Peer rallied for the dramatic victory in a third-set tiebreak for her third title of the season and her career. The match was the first of three finals that Myskina lost in 2006, in what was ultimately the former World No.2's last full season on tour.
The breakout 2006 helped Peer -- a future World No.11 who reached that career-high ranking in 2011 -- record a historic 2007, in which she became the first Israeli woman to reach the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam at the Australian Open, and later repeated the feat at the US Open.
Maria Sharapova def. Agnieszka Radwanska (6-2, 3-6, 6-0, 2007 quarterfinals)
They met on some of the biggest stages in tennis over the course of their careers, and storied head-to-head between Radwanska and Sharapova began with a quarterfinal match on Turkish soil.
In the spring of 2007, reigning US Open champion Sharapova was ranked World No.2, fresh off of a runner-up finish at the Australian Open, and Radwanska an 18-year-old ranked World No.43.
Radwanska, seeded No.7, went on to become the first Pole to win a WTA title later in 2007 with a victory in Stockholm, but first showed some of the form which helped her dethrone Sharapova later that summer at the US Open in a thrilling three-set affair that was ultimately won by the Russian.
Contesting only her third WTA quarterfinal, Radwanska stretched the top seed to three sets before Sharapova sealed victory, but the match was nonetheless a sign of things to come in the pair's matches for the next decade.
Although the two retired with Sharapova leading the head-to-head, 13-2, seven of their all-time meetings went three sets.
Cagla Buyukakcay def. Danka Kovinic (3-6, 6-2, 6-3, 2016 final)
Home favorite Cagla Buyukakcay made history for Turkey at the 2016 edition of the tournament, where she came through the field and became the first Turkish woman to win a WTA singles title.
Having first played the tournament in its first edition in 2005 as a 15-year-old, the then-26-year-old came to Istanbul ranked World No.118, but won her first four matches without the loss of a set.
With defending champion at No.3 seed Lesia Tsurenko -- the 2015 winner of the event when it was held on hard courts and in July -- dethroned in her opener by Sorana Cirstea, Buyukakcay came through her section of the draw by beating Russia's Marina Melnikova and Cirstea to reach the last eight.
Already the first Turkish woman to reach a WTA semifinal by virtue of a 6-1, 6-2 victory over No.6 seed Nao Hibino in the quarterfinal round, Buyukakcay earned a place in her first final with a 6-0, 7-5 win over Switzerland's Stefanie Voegele, and sealed her dream week by rallying from a set down to defeat Montenegrin Danka Kovinic in the final, 3-6, 6-2, 6-3.
In front of an enthusiastic home crowd, Buyukakcay saved 10 of 12 break points that she faced during the two hour, 23 minute final, which also helped her make her debut in the Top 100.
The longtime Turkish No.1 later became the first woman from her country to win a Grand Slam match when she beat Aliaksandra Sasnovich in three sets later that spring at the French Open, and reached a career-high ranking of World No.60 in September.
Dayana Yastremska def. Andrea Petkovic (3-6, 6-0, 6-3, 2017 first round)
Dayana Yastremska will always remember Istanbul.
As a 16-year-old wildcard in 2017, the Ukrainian -- ranked World No.420 -- served up her first tour-level victory when she upset former Top 10 player Andrea Petkovic in a two-hour opening round match.
In 2015, Yastremska made her WTA main draw debut in Istanbul at the age of 15, losing her opening round match to Nao Hibino, but she notched a major milestone when she returned the next year.
The Ukrainian showed off the power tennis that has already taken her into the Top 30 in the four years since her arrival on tour, as Yastremska hit 32 winners in the match to Petkovic's six and also broke serve seven times.
From 0-2 in the final set, she won four games in a row to score the upset, in what was also her first victory against a Top 100 player.
Elena Rybakina def. Pauline Parmentier (6-0, 6-4, 2019 second round)
The most in-form player in the early stages of the 2020 season, Elena Rybakina showed some of what she was capable of with a run to the last eight of last year's tournament.
Coming through qualifying ranked World No.161, the Russian-born Kazakh won a pair of matches in qualifying to reach the main draw, where she made another splash with a three-set upset of No.7 seed Katerina Siniakova from a set down, 3-6, 6-2, 6-4.
The victory earned the teenager a meeting with defending champion Pauline Parmentier, who won her first title in 10 years by virtue of raising the trophy in 2018.
Although Parmentier beat Evgeniya Rodina with the loss of just two games in the opening round, Rybakina's power game proved two hot to handle in the second round. The qualifier lost just four games to dethrone the Frenchwoman and guarantee the event a new champion and reach her second career WTA quarterfinal, one of seven that she reached at tour-level last year.
Although her run was ended in the last eight by veteran Barbora Strycova, 0-6, 7-6(6), 6-0, Rybakina had already given WTA fans reason to take notice of her talent in what was the start of her surge into the tour's elite.
Ultimately, the week in Istanbul wrapped up with Croatia's Petra Martic winning her first WTA title against breakout Czech star Marketa Vondrousova, the eventual French Open finalist.