Venus Williams beat Caroline Wozniacki to reach the final in Dubai.
© Warren Little/Getty Images
By Erin Bruehl, USTA.com
Venus Williams looked like the world No. 1, seven-time Grand Slam champion version of herself Friday, upsetting No. 8 seed Caroline Wozniacki in Dubai to reach her biggest WTA Tour final in nearly four years.
Against Wozniacki, Williams, currently ranked No. 44, played the power, aggressive brand of tennis that characterized her best years of tour, dictating points to win with relative ease, 6-3, 6-2, in an hour and 21 minutes.
"I feel like I've just gotten so much better since my first round to now, just feeling comfortable on the court, feeling comfortable when I'm behind, feeling comfortable when I'm in the lead," Williams told The Associated Press. "So it reminds me a lot when I first came on tour, having to learn a lot, so I feel like I'm learning lessons all over again."
In the final Venus will face world No. 26 Alize Cornet, who prevented an all-Williams final by upsetting world No. 1 Serena Williams in straight sets, 6-4, 6-4. The Williams sisters have played each other just once in the last four years – in Charleston a year ago – and have not met in a final since Serena topped Venus to win the Tour Championships in 2009.
Against Cornet in the final, Venus will be looking to win her 45th career title and her first since Luxembourg in 2012. A win in Dubai would be her most prestigious title since winning this same tournament in 2009 and 2010.
Venus also reached the final in Auckland to begin 2014, falling to Ana Ivanovic in the title match. This is just Venus’ third tour final since being diagnosed with Sjogren’s Syndrome, an energy-zapping autoimmune disease that led to her seven-month absence from the WTA from August 2011 to March 2012.
Overall, Venus holds a 3-0 career advantage against Cornet – the same as Serena before her loss on Friday – with their last meeting coming in the second round of the 2013 Australian Open. They also met in Dubai in 2009, which Venus won, 6-3, 6-2, en route to her first of back-to-back titles.