Li dropped one set in getting to Sunday's Championships final against Serena Williams. Li managed to win a set in the title match -- Williams only lost two last week -- before falling 2-6, 6-3, 6-0.
It also capped a superior year for Williams who returned to the world No. 1 ranking Feb. 18 and has built a 5,214-point lead over No. 2 Victoria Azarenka. The current 37-week string at No. 1 is the 18th longest in WTA history. Williams has been on top of the ranking for a total of 160 weeks, which is sixth-most (Monica Seles is fifth at 178).
Williams piled up 11 titles -- including the French Open and U.S. Open championships -- while going 78-4 in 2013. The 95.12 winning percentage is the ninth-best in WTA history. The $2.145 million payday at the WTA Championships lifted her 2013 winnings to a record of nearly $12.4 million. Azarenka set the previous record at $7.9 million last year.
Williams has career winnings of a record $54.1 million. Her sister Venus is second at $28.9 million.
The WTA has a pair of tournaments this week, with the Tournament of Champions -- basically titlists who didn't qualify for the WTA Championships -- and the 125K-level event in Nanjing, China. There is also the Fed Cup final pitting Russia versus Italy.
The WTA Top 10, listing player's name, home country and rankings points:
1. Serena Williams, United States, 13,260
2. Victoria Azarenka, Belarus, 8,046
3. Li Na, China, 6,045
4. Maria Sharapova, Russia, 5,891
5. Agnieszka Radwanska, Poland, 5875
6. Petra Kvitova, Czech Republic, 4,775
7. Sara Errani, Italy, 4,435
8. Jelena Jankovic, Serbia, 4,170
9. Angelique Kerber, Germany, 3,965
10. Caroline Wozniacki, Denmark, 3,520