Venus Williams wins 45th career singles title in Dubai

Fitzgerald Cecilio – 4E Sports Reporter

Dubai, United Arab Emirates (4E Sports) – Venus Williams defeated Alize Cornet, 6-3, 6-0, Saturday to bag her biggest title in four years at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.

By winning the event, Williams not only extended her winning streak at the event to three titles and 15 matches, but also bagged her 45th career singles title.

Williams, a former No. 1 and seven-time Grand Slam champion, won her last Premier-level title here in 2010.

Also, Williams snapped a two-year title drought since winning her last title in Luxemborg in 2012. However, she fell into a series of early defeats and withdrawals due to injuries.

“Gosh, it’s been like – I think the last tournament I won was at the end of 2012, so probably about 18 months now. But it feels good. That’s all I can say,” said Williams.

In Saturday’s final, Williams opened an early 5-2 lead then reeled off seven straight games after Cornet came within 5-3 for the win.

“First of all, I think Alizé is playing great,” Williams said. “I think if she continues to play like that, she’s going to play deep in a lot of tournaments and keep improving. It’s great to see that, because she’s a great addition to the game.”

Despite the loss, it was not a bad week for Cornet, who snapped a 28-match losing streak to Top 10 players with a win over Simona Halep in the first round.

Then, she recorded the biggest win of her career by beating No. 1 Serena Williams in the semifinal.

“It was a great week for me – it’s always tough to finish like this, and I believed in my chances today, but I think there’s a lot to be happy about, and I’m very motivated for the rest of the season,” Cornet said.

Meanwhile, Ernests Gulbis reached his fifth ATP World Tour final as he ousted top seed Richard Gasquet 6-3, 6-2 at the Open 13 in Marseille.

Gulbis will next take on defending champion Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who defeated Jan-Lennard Struff, 7-6(4), 7-5 in one hour and 39 minutes.

At the Rio Open, top seed Klara Zakopalova beat Teliana Pereira, 6-2, 6-0, to seal a final showdown with fifth seed Kurumi Nara, who downed Nastassya Burnett, 6-4, 3-6, 6-2.

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