Venus sweeps Wozniacki to reach third Dubai final

by: February 21, 2014


In a semifinal of former world No. 1 players, Venus Williams powered past Caroline Wozniacki, 6-3, 6-2 to storm into the Dubai final for the third time.

Williams, the 2009-2010 tournament champion, extended her Dubai winning streak to 14 matches. Venus will play either sister Serena or 26th-ranked Frenchwoman Alize Cornet in the final.

Though she served just 41 percent in the opening set, Williams saved two of three break points she faced. She opened with a 2-0 lead before Wozniacki leveled at 2-all. Williams failed to serve out the first set at 5-2. The 33-year-old American punished Wozniacki's serve, winning 18 of 29 points played on the 11th-ranked Dane's first serve and breaking four times in the first set.

The 44th-ranked wild card rolled out to a 3-0 second-set lead. Williams consistently played her forehand crosscourt to Wozniacki's weaker forehand wing. She whipped a forehand winner crosscourt to hold at love for 4-1.

Wozniacki earned triple break in the seventh game of the second set, but Williams withstood the threat, saving the second break point with a forehand swing volley winner and erasing the third on a Wozniacki forehand error. Williams eventually held for 5-2. Williams hit twice as many winners (22 to 11) as Wozniacki, who has not won a set from the seven-time Grand Slam champion in five career meetings. When Wozniacki put a forehand into the net, Venus was through to her second final of the year—and rooting for an all-Williams sisters final.

"I would love to play Serena; obviously she's number one in the world so there's a great chance she'll get through, but it's not like Alize is going to give her the match, Serena will have to take it," Venus told's Annabel Croft afterward. "I would love for an all-Williams final."

World No. 1 Serena holds a 14-10 lead in the sisters' career meetings, including a 9-7 edge in their hard-court matches. They have not met in a final since the 2009 WTA Championships in Doha.

Venus, who was runner-up to Ana Ivanovic in Auckland last month, has now defeated two former world No. 1 players en route to the final. Asked how she stays calm on court, Venus replied: "It's a party in my head. I try to remain calm, I think it's my personality in general. Every one gets a little excited or a little nervous. In general, it's fun to be out there."



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