What a week for Venus Williams, who won her biggest title since 2010 and maintained a terrific 15-match winning streak in Dubai. She beat Alize Cornet in the final, which wrapped up a solid week of tennis at the Dubai Duty Free Championships. For the final poll of WTA Dubai, 69% of Moo’s Tennis Blog readers correctly went for Venus over Alize. Here are my thoughts on Venus and this year’s tournament.
WTA Dubai: Williams d. Cornet, 6-3 6-0 (F)
2014 has already provided some special storylines on the WTA tour, but I think they will all struggle to top Venus’s emphatic run in Dubai. Venus hit 22 winners to 17 unforced errors in the final and lost her serve just once in another confident serving display, a recognised feature in all of her matches this week. Generally speaking, Venus has played very well this year and all three of her losses had come against good players in very tight three set losses. She brought some of that form into Dubai and bundles more as she never let up her dominance winning all five of her matches in straight sets.
It really is wonderful to see Venus playing with a smile on her face and free from injury. Right now things couldn’t be better for her and I really hope she can just keep going like this. I have read many articles about Venus tarnishing her legacy by continuing to play, but I have always felt very strongly against these arguments. A result like today proves that hard work and dedication can get you a long way. And who has the right to suggest that a player should retire? In my opinion, if you’re enjoying what you are doing, regardless of the results, then it really isn’t worth raising the question..
Storylines from Dubai
The big shock of the week was obviously Alize Cornet‘s victory over Serena Williams in the semi-finals. A few people commented that this was an obvious tank from Serena so that she wouldn’t have to play Venus and her sister would have a better shot at winning the title. The thought certainly came across my mind although I can see it from both sides because I cannot imagine a competitor with Serena’s fire would be fine about losing a match to Cornet. Still, I think Cornet deserves more credit than she was given and she still had to play a high-quality match. Serena won’t be in action again until Miami and Charleston when we should know a little more about her form. This was another fantastic week for Cornet although her weaknesses were certainly highlighted in the final. She is incredibly emotional at times and was seen crying in the first set. Her passion and plucky nature have won her matches this year which many players would have lost, but days like today, the emotion is too much.
In other news from Dubai, Petra Kvitova continued to struggle as she lost a topsy-turvy match with Carla Suarez Navarro in the second round, which she led by a set and a break. She hasn’t played a great deal of tennis so far this year, but similar trends to 2013 are already starting to emerge. Another worrying trend is Angelique Kerber‘s performances in tough three set matches. She has just won one out of five three setters in 2014 and was unable to convert on a match point in her first round match in Dubai, going down in a third set tiebreak to Ana Ivanovic.
Best match of the week: Ivanovic d. Kerber, 3-6 6-3 7-6(6) (R1)
Highlights by theMsharapova2
Moo’s Original Predictions: I started really well in the first round, but it tailed off quite spectacularly. My best picks were Ivanovic over Kerber in the first round and predicting that Wozniacki would reach the semi-finals. Overall, I correctly predicted 3 out of the 8 quarter-finalists and had a total of 52% correct picks.