Today featured another wow moment of 2014 as the world number 26, Alize Cornet upset the world number one, Serena Williams in a stunning 6-4 6-4 victory. Cornet now meets Venus Williams in a surprising unseeded finale to the 2014 edition of the Dubai Duty Free Championships. In yesterday’s poll, 69% correctly went for Venus Williams to beat Caroline Wozniacki.
I am still trying to get my head around that Alize Cornet beat Serena Williams today. In one of the biggest shocks of the year, the Frenchwoman put in a terrific display and served out the mammoth win to love! Cornet has produced some solid results on tour this year in reaching the third round of the Australian Open and the semi-finals of the Premier event in Paris. However I never expected a win like this. Serena came up with the following quotes, which appeared on the WTA website.
“I started out extremely slow. I have actually been looking at turtle each day – it’s a really cute turtle in the hotel. I think it’s so cute. Maybe I was too influenced by it. I need to play better than that if I want to be playing on the professional tour – maybe I can go to the amateurs”
I do wonder whether this loss, a first in a non-Grand Slam event for Serena since Cincinnati in 2012, will have any impact on her season. 2014 has not started as she wished and Friday was all about Alize. She has yet to drop a set all week and has claimed four top 20 wins in Dubai. In the final, Cornet faces her lowest ranked opponent of the week in Venus Williams. The American world number 44 eased past Caroline Wozniacki in the semi-finals, 6-3 6-2 in 1 hour and 21 minutes. It was the fifth straight victory for Venus over Wozniacki, who has never dropped a set against the Dane.
Cornet prevented the all-Williams final, but this final still holds a great deal of intrigue. Cornet is gunning for her biggest ever WTA title having won three international events in her career, meanwhile Venus is searching for a first WTA title since 2012 and a first Premier title since 2010 when she last won in Dubai. In fact, Venus is on a 14-match winning streak in Dubai having won the tournament in her last two appearances in 2009 and 2010. Venus leads the head-to-head by 3 wins to 0 with the last of those wins coming at the Australian Open. Like the head-to-head with Wozniacki, Venus has never lost a set against Cornet. I have never been a big fan of Venus, but she has played some superb tennis this week and after so many trials and tribulations in her tennis career in the last few year, she deserves these special moments. Cornet will be no walkover, but I believe Venus will cap off a magical week in Dubai with her third title at this tournament.