ISTANBUL, Turkey - The WTA stars have been shining in Istanbul, Turkey this week as part of the International-level TEB BNP Paribas Istanbul Cup, but there's one WTA star in particular who has had a legendary history in the Turkish city - Serena Williams, the World No.1, completely dominated the WTA Finals in 2012 and 2013 when they were held there, even winning her first 17 sets in a row.
Playing the WTA's crown jewel event for the first time in three years, Williams didn't even go in as No.1 in 2012, not even No.2 - she went in as the No.3 player in the world. But that didn't slow her down one bit, as she stormed through all three of her round robin matches without even losing a set, not even against then-No.1 player Victoria Azarenka, whom she dispatched in two straight sets, 6-4, 6-4.
At the end of an absolute dream regular season in 2013, Williams went in as No.1, and she definitely rose to the occasion in the round robin, losing just 15 games through three straight set victories.
Things got tougher from there, as she was pushed to three sets in her next two matches - but that didn't slow her down either, as she rallied to a 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 victory over Jelena Jankovic in the semifinals and battled back from a first set blowout for a 2-6, 6-3, 6-0 win over Li Na in the final.
Williams was the first player to win back-to-back WTA Finals since Justine Henin in 2006 and 2007.
In 2014, in the tournament's first year in Singapore, Williams didn't go unbeaten - she lost to Simona Halep in the round robin - but she went on to win the title anyway, beating Halep in the final, and she became the first to win the WTA Finals three years in a row since Monica Seles in '90, '91 and '92.
During Wimbledon, Williams became the first player to qualify for the 2015 BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global, the earliest a player has ever qualified under the current format.
Who will be the next player to qualify for the season finale? Stay tuned right here on wtatennis.com!