DUBAI, United Arab Emirates(AP) Venus Williams won her 40th singles title Saturday, defeating Virginie Razzano of France 6-4, 6-2 in the final of the Dubai Tennis Championship.
During the trophy presentation, Williams spoke about Shahar Peer, the Israeli player who was denied entry into the United Arab Emirates for the tournament because of what organizers called security concerns.
I felt like I had to talk about her,'' Williams said.I thought it was brave of her to come here and try and play despite knowing that it is not going to be easy for her. My dad grew up in an area where if you spoke too much, it was your life. So I felt I had a small opportunity to say something where everyone will listen.''
Peer was denied entry into the country a week ago. The WTA fined organizers of the tournament a record $300,000 Friday, saying it will compensate Peer and ensure other Israeli players aren't shut out of future events.
I am not here to rock any boat or upset people, I am just here to do things that are right,'' Williams said.And I think right things are already happening next week and right things will happen next year.''
Israeli player Andy Ram was granted a visa Thursday for the upcoming men's tournament in Dubai. On Saturday, organizers said Ram would have the security needed to play.
Obviously, Andy Ram got his visa, so I'll be happy to come and defend next year,'' Williams said.If everyone is not given the equal opportunity to play, I'd rethink. But I love this tournament. They really care about the players.''
Williams, who reached the semifinals in Dubai in 2002, got her only break of the first set against Razzano in the 10th game.
I think she definitely had a much better week than I had, even though I won the tournament,'' Williams said.She played a great game and she came with a great game plan to come out and attack. She'd have been in trouble if she had let me take control of the match.
``But I am pretty used to players coming against me and playing aggressive tennis. I can't really control that, so I just try and play my side of the court.''
Williams will improve to No. 5 in the WTA rankings when they are released Monday.
Razzano, who upset second-seeded Dinara Safina and fifth-seeded Vera Zvonareva in Dubai, said her performance was the best of her career.
I am very happy,'' said the 58th-ranked Frenchwoman, who needed a medical time-out for her back.I am happy for Venus, who played great and deserved to win. And I am feeling happy for myself because I played so well throughout the week. I know I can challenge the top players.''