Williams caps stellar season

Staff and Wire Reports

The way the season has gone for Serena Williams, there was only one fitting way for it to end.

Williams capped a tremendous year in style Sunday, earning her 11th title by coming from behind to beat Li Na, 2-6, 6-3, 6-0, at Istanbul, Turkey, for her second straight WTA Championships crown.

Williams became the eighth woman to win 11 or more titles in a year and the first since Martina Hingis had 12 in 1997. The American also is the first to repeat as champion in the season-ending WTA Championships since Justine Henin in 2007.

Juan Martin del Potro denied Roger Federer his hometown Swiss Indoors title for the second straight year, winning the final, 7-6 (3), 2-6, 6-4, at Basel.




Force wins 16th funny car title

John Force won his record 16th funny car title, beating daughter Courtney Force in the final round in the NHRA Toyota Nationals at Las Vegas.


Matt Smith also won at the Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway to wrap up the pro stock motorcycle season title. Antron Brown won the top-fuel event, and Shane Gray topped the pro stock field.

The season-ending Auto-Plus NHRA Nationals are Nov. 7-10 in Pomona.

Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel claimed his fourth straight Formula One championship after turning in a trademark clinical performance to win the Indian Grand Prix at Greater Noida.

Starting from the pole, Vettel dominated the Buddh International Circuit to join F1 greats Juan Miguel Fangio and Michael Schumacher as only the third driver to win four consecutive championships. The only other driver to win four championships was Alain Prost.


Ryan Moore birdied the first hole of a playoff with Gary Woodland to win the CIMB Classic at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, after an overnight wait caused by thunderstorms.

Woodland and Moore finished regulation at 14-under 274 with darkness descending, forcing the playoff to be postponed until Monday morning.

The tournament was an official PGA Tour event for the first time.

Suzann Pettersen successfully defended her title in the LPGA Taiwan Championship for her fourth tour victory of the year and third in her last five starts.


The Norwegian star closed with a three-under 69 for a five-stroke victory over Solheim Cup teammate Azahara Munoz at Yangmei. Pettersen finished at nine-under 279.

Kenny Perry made a 10-foot birdie putt on the first hole of a playoff with Bernhard Langer to win the Champions Tour’s AT&T; Championship at San Antonio.

Perry and Langer each shot five-under 67 to finish at 13-under 203.

Megan Rapinoe, Carli Lloyd, Christen Press and Heather O’Reilly scored to help the U.S. women’s soccer team beat New Zealand, 4-1, in an exhibition game at Candlestick Park in San Francisco.


The Americans improved to 12-0-2 this year.

Veteran Gary Stevens, warming up for this weekend’s Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita, won four races Sunday. He won aboard Segway in the first race, Tappingintherain in the third, Tiz the Truth in the fifth and Global View in the sixth. Stevens, a Hall of Fame rider, is 50 and returned to racing in January after a seven-year retirement.

-- Bill Dwyre