Dubai winner Venus claims first title since 2012

Sat Feb 22, 2014 1:31pm EST
 
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By Matt Smith

DUBAI (Reuters) - Venus Williams crushed Frenchwoman Alize Cornet 6-3 6-0 in the final of the Dubai Championship on Saturday, the veteran American bagging her first singles title since 2012.

The seven-times grand slam winner made light work of Cornet who stunned Venus's sister Serena on Friday to deny the siblings their first final meeting in five years.

"I think the difference between me and Serena was I put a few more balls in the court," said Venus who has struggled for form since being diagnosed with a fatigue-causing disease in 2011.

"Winning all those grand slam titles, playing deep and getting to the final so many times, it takes a lot of nerve, mental prowess, so I'd like to think I'm on that path," she told reporters.

Williams, 33, has made a mixed start to 2014, suffering a first-round exit at the Australian Open and more disappointment in Doha last week.

She did not drop a set in Dubai, though, and beat five higher-ranked opponents including former world number ones Ana Ivanovic and Caroline Wozniacki.

"When things got tough I definitely got going this week. If I was down break point, when push came to shove I was pushing and shoving," added Williams who will climb from 44th in the world back into the top 30 for the first time since May 2013.

"I'm not looking to do anything I did in the past because I already did that. I'm looking to improve and be a better, smarter Venus."   Continued...

 
Venus Williams of the U.S. holds the trophy after defeating Alize Cornet of France in their women's singles final match at the Dubai Tennis Championships, February 22, 2014.REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah