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Vintage Venus clinches Dubai Duty Free Tennis title

posted on 23/02/2014: 1732 views

Venus Williams stormed to a third Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship crown with a straight-sets victory over Alize Cornet on Centre Court here on Saturday night.

The American wildcard, 33, was broken in just the third game of the first set by the world number 26 to trail 2-1 initially. However, that proved little more than a false dawn for an increasingly emotional Cornet as the 2009 and 2010 DDFTC champion won 11 of the next 12 games to prevail 6-3, 6-0.

Williams is now just one behind all-time DDFTC record holder Justine Henin, while Cornet is the fifth female French finalist in the emirate having followed in the footsteps of the tournament's 2002 champion Amelie Mauresmo, Virginie Razzano, Nathalie Tauziat and Sandrine Testud.

"I couldn't even come before, so just to be able to compete made me so happy and then obviously to play well, win in the title and have this wonderful streak here is definitely an accomplishment,” said Williams, who has now won 15 matches in a row in the emirate.

Cornet's only gripe with the result was that the scoreline didn't really reflect the closeness of the 15 games overall or the duration of the match (One hour and 31 minutes).

"I didn't play my best tennis, but Venus played well the whole week so she deserves this title,” the 24-year-old admitted.

"She was playing faster. She was playing deeper. She was taking the ball earlier than me and she was serving better, so I didn't have a lot of chances.”

Earlier, Alla Kudryavtseva and Anastasia Rodionova claimed the doubles title with a match tie-breaker success over the American duo of Raquel Kops-Jones and Abigail Spears 6-2, 5-7, 1-0 (10-8).

The Russian-Australian duo returned superbly in the first set to break every one of their opponents' four service games to clinch the opener convincingly.

Their dominance in that regard even allowed them to drop two Kudryavtseva service games, although Rodionova wasn't broken in either of her two service games.

The second set was a more evenly-matched affair as service breaks were exchanged in the third (Kops-Jones) and fourth games (Kudryavtseva) before reaching 6-5 to Kop-Jones/Spears, who then broke Kudryavtseva's serve for a fourth time to force a first-to-10-points shootout.

There, Kudryavtseva and Rodionova rallied back from 3-1 down to lead 8-3.

Kops-Jones and Spears then won five of the next six points to reduce the arrears to 8-9, yet – on serve – Kudryavtseva and Rodionova were not to be denied as they secured their second title together of 2014.

"We are very happy of course. We've played really good tennis in the last few months,” said Rodionova, who won the Brisbane International crown alongside Kudryavtseva last month.

"Now, it's a little bit different than when we started to play together. When we got to the tournament here, we wanted to win it and we did.

"It's not like it's going to happen every week, but it's already out second title this year.” – Khaleej Times – Read more:§ion=nationsports


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