It's only the beginning of August and Serena Williams has already qualified for the the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships – Istanbul 2013. For comparison, in 2012 and 2011 the first players qualified in early September, while in 2010 Caroline Wozniacki was the first to qualify on September 29th. This year the tournament will be held in the Turkish metropolis for the last time, from October 22 to 27, and Serena will be defending her title, having lifted the prestigious season-ending tournament trophy three times – in 2001, 2009 and last year.
This season the top-ranked American boasts a 51-3 win-loss record, seven WTA titles, including the French Open and her first International-level triumph in Bastad, while in February she became the oldest player ever to have the No.1 ranking. This summary of her achievements is very condensed, but it's so time-consuming to even mention just the most prominent Williams' victories, winning streaks and records. The fact that she qualified for the WTA Championships so early, speaks for itself. (photo: © Neal Trousdale)