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Venus in final; Serena ousted

Venus Williams

Dubai: Venus Williams trounced Denmark’s Caroline Wozniacki 6-3, 6-2 in the semi-finals of the Dubai Championships on Friday. However, any possibility of an all-Williams final was put to rest after Alize Cornet beat world No. 1 Serena for the first time in the other semi-final.

Cornet entered the day 0-3 versus Serena but won four straight games in taking a lead of a set and a break and then held on for a 6-4, 6-4 victory.

Venus Williams, ranked 44, had won her previous four encounters against former No. 1 Wozniacki, now ranked 11, without dropping a set. But their most recent meeting was in 2008 and the American has struggled to find her best form since she was diagnosed with an auto-immune disease in 2011.

Both players hugged the baseline in the early exchanges under a fading desert sun. Six out of nine games went against serve in an error-strewn opening set, Venus breaking in the first game only to be pegged back to 2-2 following a long forehand.

Wozniacki had been in scintillating form in Dubai, dismissing Wimbledon finalist Sabine Lisicki in the first round and not dropping a set thereafter, but Williams’ groundstrokes proved too potent.

Venus’ movement between points seemed laboured, however, the 33-year-old’s face betraying anguished frustration after she slugged a routine return into the net.       (Agencies)