Venus Williams wins Dubai title

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Venus Williams has won 15 consecutive matches in Dubai. (Warren Little/Getty Images)

Venus Williams

Venus Williams completed a dominant performance at the Dubai Championships with a 6-3, 6-0 victory over Alize Cornet for her first title in more than a year.

Williams won her 45th career title and joined Justine Henin as the only players to win the Dubai title at least three times. In fact, Williams has won 15 consecutive matches in Dubai, having won the title in 2009 and 2010 before missing the tournament from 2011-13.

The 33-year-old Williams will rise from No. 44 to No. 29 in Monday's WTA Tour rankings after winning her first title since October 2012 and her first Premier-level title since Dubai in 2010.

Cornet, who upset Serena Williams in Friday's semifinals to spoil the first final between the sisters since 2009, was bidding for her first hard-court title. She was also seeking to become the eighth player to beat both Williams sisters at the same tournament. Venus improved to 4-0 against the 24-year-old Frenchwoman, who burst into tears while speaking with her coach during a changeover at 2-5 in the first set.

Venus had lost three-set matches in her first three tournaments of the year -- against Ana Ivanovic in the ASB Classic final, Ekaterina Makarova in the Australian Open first round and Petra Kvitova in the Qatar Open second round last week. But Venus never reached a third set this week, as she took full advantage of a wild card to dispatch five quality players in No. 33 Elena Vesnina, No. 12 Ivanovic, No. 22 Flavia Pennetta, No. 11 Caroline Wozniacki and No. 26 Cornet in straight sets.

This is Williams' second title since being diagnosed with Sjogren's syndrome, an autoimmune disease, in 2011. She missed nearly seven months and slipped to No. 134, but the seven-time Grand Slam champion has fought her way back into the upper levels of the game.


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Cornet in tears during a first-set changeover:

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• Venus hasn't lost a set in four matches against Cornet.

• This is Venus' fourth title as an unseeded player.

• Cornet committed 32 unforced errors after having only 11 in her 6-4, 6-4 victory over Serena on Friday.

• The last player to beat both Williams sisters at the same tournament was Jelena Jankovic, in Rome in 2010. The other six to accomplish the feat: Arantxa Sánchez-Vicario, Steffi Graf, Martina Hingis, Kim Clijsters (twice), Lindsay Davenport and Henin.


• Williams after the win: "Wow. It's wonderful to be back after a four-year absence. ... I really was expecting to play Serena in the final, but [Cornet] really played a massive game in the semifinal so congratulations for that."

• Williams on her consistent success in Dubai: "I don't know. I need to play here every year. If I could figure out why I play well here, I would do it at every tournament."

• Williams' explanation for her improved play in 2014: "Just continually being able to go to practice and my health improving a little bit, so all of it's coming together."

• Cornet on her performance: ''I think 6-3, 6-0 is a bit tough in an hour and 30, so I guess there was a battle on the court, but she was just better than me today,'' Cornet said. ''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. She deserved to win.''

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This post has been updated.