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Venus Williams wins Dubai title

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Venus Williams

Venus Williams has won 15 consecutive matches in Dubai. (Warren Little/Getty Images)

Venus Williams completed a dominant performance at the Dubai Championships with a 6-3, 6-0 victory over Alize Cornet for her first title in more than a year.

Williams won her 45th career title and joined Justine Henin as the only players to win the Dubai title at least three times. In fact, Williams has won 15 consecutive matches in Dubai, having won the title in 2009 and 2010 before missing the tournament from 2011-13.

The 33-year-old Williams will rise from No. 44 to No. 29 in Monday’s WTA Tour rankings after winning her first title since October 2012 and her first Premier-level title since Dubai in 2010.

Cornet, who upset Serena Williams in Friday’s semifinals to spoil the first final between the sisters since 2009, was bidding for her first hard-court title. She was also seeking to become the eighth player to beat both Williams sisters at the same tournament. Venus improved to 4-0 against the 24-year-old Frenchwoman, who burst into tears while speaking with her coach during a changeover at 2-5 in the first set.

Venus had lost three-set matches in her first three tournaments of the year — against Ana Ivanovic in the ASB Classic final, Ekaterina Makarova in the Australian Open first round and Petra Kvitova in the Qatar Open second round last week. But Venus never reached a third set this week, as she took full advantage of a wild card to dispatch five quality players in No. 33 Elena Vesnina, No. 12 Ivanovic, No. 22 Flavia Pennetta, No. 11 Caroline Wozniacki and No. 26 Cornet in straight sets.

This is Williams’ second title since being diagnosed with Sjogren’s syndrome, an autoimmune disease, in 2011. She missed nearly seven months and slipped to No. 134, but the seven-time Grand Slam champion has fought her way back into the upper levels of the game.

Highlights


Cornet in tears during a first-set changeover:


Stats

• Venus hasn’t lost a set in four matches against Cornet.

• This is Venus’ fourth title as an unseeded player.

• Cornet committed 32 unforced errors after having only 11 in her 6-4, 6-4 victory over Serena on Friday.

• The last player to beat both Williams sisters at the same tournament was Jelena Jankovic, in Rome in 2010. The other six to accomplish the feat: Arantxa Sánchez-Vicario, Steffi Graf, Martina Hingis, Kim Clijsters (twice), Lindsay Davenport and Henin.

Quotable

• Williams after the win: “Wow. It’s wonderful to be back after a four-year absence. … I really was expecting to play Serena in the final, but [Cornet] really played a massive game in the semifinal so congratulations for that.”

• Williams on her consistent success in Dubai: “I don’t know. I need to play here every year. If I could figure out why I play well here, I would do it at every tournament.”

• Williams’ explanation for her improved play in 2014: “Just continually being able to go to practice and my health improving a little bit, so all of it’s coming together.”

• Cornet on her performance: ”I think 6-3, 6-0 is a bit tough in an hour and 30, so I guess there was a battle on the court, but she was just better than me today,” Cornet said. ”She was playing more aggressive. She was pushing me out of the court very far from the baseline, and I didn’t play as deep as yesterday, didn’t serve as well. She deserved to win.”

Twitter reaction







This post has been updated.

  • Published On Feb 22, 2014
  • 22 comments
    saveserves2371
    saveserves2371

    Heartiest Congrats,Venus! The Self-discipline, the mental tenacity, the faith it took to accomplish that: Winning a Premier event over other former #1 players still in their 20's without dropping a set. Coming back from an auto-immune illness to do that is beyond amazong. And Serena came back from a life-threatening illness to dominate and win majors. The Williams Sisters' Parents did something Right!

    GlamSpinTennis
    GlamSpinTennis

    So excited to see Venus prevail and earn another title. No one outside the top 5 (except Ana) gets 2 Williams' scalps in one tournament. 


    Venus' EleVen designs also looked great. She's really improving as a fashion designer. 

    makouria
    makouria

    Not very long ago, many were saying that Venus should retire, she was written off by so many, even sports writers and some commentators.  I hope that her health will continue to improve.  All the best Venus.

    ramrog128
    ramrog128

    Delighted to see Vee win this one. She is a true champion, as gracious in defeat as she is in victory. For the pundits and general tennis public who have been clamoring for her retirement, settle down. Venus is still a viable force at the elite level of women's tennis. She simply needed time to adjust to illness and have enough match play to get more "match tight."

    http://martinstake128.wordpress.com/2013/01/17/venus/

    JohnG2
    JohnG2

    Fabulous tennis this week Venus. Keep that up you may have one more Wimbledon in you.  That would be amazing. 

    Peterdetruse
    Peterdetruse

    It's beautiful to see this classy woman, who pushed open the door left ajar by Arthur Ashe, back into her own.  My beloved Jelena Jankovic lost, but this almost makes up for it.  


    Go Venus!

    GO (a little bit more) JJ!

    Jonjoe1959
    Jonjoe1959

    Venus brought tears to my eyes. What a performance. This woman, without a doubt, is a Fighter. Go Venus Go.!

    Jonjoe1959
    Jonjoe1959

    Never, and I mean Never listen to the Professional Talking Heads. None of which, saw this coming. Go Venus Go.!!

    JohnG2
    JohnG2

    Congrats Venus. I thought you were done but you proved me wrong and i'm very happy about that. 

    makouria
    makouria

    I beat the best sister, so this one would be a pushover.  She beat me 6-3. 6-0.

    zoezoe
    zoezoe

    Venus, so elegant and graceful.

    Welcome Back.

    dbady
    dbady

    What an amazing performance from Venus Williams!!!!  Well done and well deserved!!!!

    medgabite
    medgabite

    Gone Venus! What a champion spirit and great inspiration!

    emma1
    emma1

    venus williams' game in full flight is truly a sight to behold!!

    AshantiDennery
    AshantiDennery

    congrats  venus williams you deserved this title love it

    the goddess of tennis is back!!!!

    love you vee!!

    JayBurken
    JayBurken

    @GlamSpinTennis  Ana has never beaten both Williams in 1 tournament.  She has gotten both of them this year, and I'm sure she did in '08 too.  I mean the list of women to achieve that is all-time greats.  Only JJ wouldn't be considered an all-time great.  But it was on slow clay in Rome.  Not too surprising.  As I remember, she beat Venus BAD.  I assume it was a Sjogren-y day.

    JayBurken
    JayBurken

    @ramrog128  I was worrying that she was starting to take some of these analysts comments to heart.  I was think Rio was a great goal, but maybe too far away.  Now that she is playing so well, I would NOT be surprised if she won another Wimbledon before she retired!!!!  At least 2 more years of Vee!!!!  Yay!!!

    Jonjoe1959
    Jonjoe1959

    JohnG2.- Only Venus can make one feel good about being wrong. Go Venus Go.!!

    JayBurken
    JayBurken

    @makouria  She should've learned from Vinci on talking crap about Venus. :)