If healthy, Serena should win title

Originally Published: November 13, 2004
By Pam Shriver | Special to ESPN.com
LOS ANGELES -- With Serena Williams' victory against Amelie Mauresmo, she not only reached the final but also assisted Lindsay Davenport in finishing the year as the No. 1 player.

Even though Davenport didn't reach the final here, she had a dominant year as she won more tournaments than anyone else this season. To win four in a row this summer was just outstanding. Only the best of the best finish more than one year as the No. 1 player; Davenport has done it three times. Although she doesn't have six, seven or eight Grand Slam titles, she is an Olympic gold medalist and a three-time major winner. It's a spectacular career for someone who started off out-of-shape and insecure with herself on the court. This year of success, when she had begun thinking about retirement, came as she finally regained her health and attitude.

Those are two things likely to play a factor in the WTA Tour Championships final between Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova on Monday night.

A top player on the women's tennis tour more than 15 years, Pam Shriver hosts ESPN's women's tennis telecasts. She also appears as a sideline reporter on select men's matches.

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