Dubai winner Venus claims first title since 2012
Dubai: 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."
The American started slowly against Cornet, who hugged the baseline just as she did against Serena to take the first break of serve and go 2-1 up after Williams made successive errors, the first a loose volley at the net and the second a long forehand.
The setback stirred Williams and she broke back immediately with a ferocious return before surging into a 5-2 lead by breaking again.
Cornet, 24, showed her despair as she wilted under a barrage of brutal groundstrokes from her opponent.
"The first set was very important. That`s why I was a bit emotional because I wanted to do better," said the Frenchwoman.
"She was playing more aggressive. She was pushing me out of the court very far from the baseline and I didn`t play as deep as yesterday, didn`t serve as well."
Cornet saved two set points when serving at 2-5 only for Williams to comfortably serve it out, dragging the world number 26 out wide with a fierce backhand that she could only scuff into the ground.
A double fault and a wild forehand on successive points gave the American another break at the start of the second set and she broke twice more for a 5-0 lead.
Cornet saved one match point with a backhand volley lob before a long forehand gave Williams a 45th career title and a third Dubai crown.