Maria Sharapova beat Serena Williams for this title eight years ago. What did she do with the car?
WTA Staff

ISTANBUL, Turkey - It's down to Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams at the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships - Istanbul 2012, a repeat of the dramatic 2004 final. So one last time from Turkey, some stats to munch on...

(2) Maria Sharapova (RUS #2) vs. (3) Serena Williams (USA #3)
~ Head-To-Head: Williams leads Sharapova, 9-2
~ After Williams won their first meeting in the early rounds of Miami in 2004, Sharapova won their next two, both that year, 61 64 in the Wimbledon final and 46 62 64 in the WTA Championships final (rallying from 4-0 down in the third set); but Williams has turned the tables completely since then, winning their last eight meetings in a row - and while a few have been tight, Williams has completely dominated all three of their meetings since her year-long lay-off between July 2010 and June 2011 (the scorelines: 61 63, 61 63 and 60 61)

Sharapova Notes
~ Sharapova is 51-1 this year after winning the first set (her only loss from a set up was to Azarenka in the US Open semifinals, 36 62 64)
~ Sharapova is 60-10 so far this year, the first time she has had 60 match wins in a season (previous-highest was 59 match wins in 2006)

~ Let's go back in time, eight years ago to be exact, when a 17-year-old Sharapova stunned a 23-year-old Williams in this final, 46 62 64; Williams was up a set and a break, 64 21, but an abdominal injury had been bothering her all match and after dropping the second set she started hitting every shot as hard as she could except her serve (which were coming in the high 70s/low 80s miles per hour range); she went up 4-0 third set but Sharapova rallied to win
~ Sharapova quote: "She couldn't really do anything from her serve, so she had to hit everything as hard as she could - and that is exactly what she did. And there wasn't much I could do. Everything was going in."
~ Williams quote: "I just started hitting every ball as hard as I could, and I think I lived off her mistakes - once she stopped making them, she was able to come back and win. I don't know how I was able to stay out there."
~ Sharapova won $1 million in prize money and a new Porsche Cayenne - but during the on-court ceremony she announced she'd be donating the vehicle to the victims of that September's school hostage tragedy in Beslan, Russia

Williams Notes
~ Williams is 53-1 this year after winning the first set (her only loss from a set up was to Razzano in the French Open first round, 46 76(5) 63)
~ Williams has won 47 of her last 49 matches (her only two losses since the start of the clay court season have come to Razzano in the first round of the French Open and to Kerber in the quarterfinals of Cincinnati)
~ If Williams wins, she would be the oldest player ever to win the WTA Championships, at age 31 (Navratilova won the title in 1986 at age 30)

~ Since losing to then-World No.2 Kuznetsova at Stuttgart in October 2007, Williams has gone 11-0 against Top 2 players, 10 of those straight sets:
2007 Moscow QFs - d. No.2 Kuznetsova, 76(2) 61
2008 Miami QFs - d. No.1 Henin, 62 60
2008 US Open F - d. No.2 Jankovic, 64 75
2008 WTA Championships RR - d. No.2 Safina, 64 61
2011 US Open SFs - d. No.1 Wozniacki, 62 64
2012 Madrid QFs - d. No.2 Sharapova, 61 63
2012 Madrid F - d. No.1 Azarenka, 61 63
2012 Wimbledon SFs - d. No.2 Azarenka, 63 76(6)
2012 Olympics SFs - d. No.1 Azarenka, 61 62
2012 US Open F - d. No.1 Azarenka, 62 26 75 (only three-setter)
2012 WTA Championships RR - d. No.1 Azarenka, 64 64

Extra Notes
~ Azarenka has already become the first player in WTA history to surpass $7 million in prize money for a single season, and it won't take long for the second one to come - the winner of this final will also pass $7 million for the year
~ The attendance for Saturday was 15,498, a record crowd for the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships during its tenure in Istanbul (the highest attendance previously was 13,676 for the finals day last year)

With one exception, the year-end Top 10 is now set:
1. Victoria Azarenka
2. Maria Sharapova
3. Serena Williams
4. Agnieszka Radwanska
5. Angelique Kerber
6. Sara Errani
7. Li Na
8. Petra Kvitova
9. Samantha Stosur
10. [Marion Bartoli or Caroline Wozniacki] (depends on Wozniacki in Sofia)

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