The 2010 Dubai Tennis Championship is coming to an end. The semi finals especially the 2nd semi final, were very entertaining matches as predicted (click here Dubai Women’s Results & Schedule), setting up a final not to be missed.
The 1st semi final was between No.3 seed and defending champion Venus Williams and the unseeded Shahar Peer of Israel. The 1st set was controlled by Venus due to a combination of her big serving, aggressive game and Peer trying to find her feet in one of her biggest matches of her career to date.
After Venus took the 1st set 6-1 Peer stepped up her intensity, played far more aggressively and really hustled to provide a great challenge to Venus. Venus had to show her champion qualities that have earned her 7 Grand Slam singles titles to edge out Peer for a 6-4 victory. Peer outplayed Venus in the 2nd set in all areas except for the serve; the big serves under pressure that Venus landed were the decisive factor.
In a fantastic display of all court tennis including a variety of shots, tactics and facets of play Azarenka went up 3-2 in her clashes with No.7 seed Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland. The standard of play was high and only rose in the 2nd set with many points ending with clean winners including a number of key volleys. Azarenka won 6-3 6-4 by being able to break the serve of Radwanska on 3 occasions versus Radwanska only breaking Azarenka once.
Pictured above is Venus Williams playing her best shot – her serve. Venus has already begun launching herself up to the ball in this photo. Venus will be trying to win this year’s battle – the established champions versus the young brigade, who are looking to overthrow them in 2010.
The Dubai Women’s Singles Final to be played on 20 February is between (3) Venus Williams and (4) Victoria Azarenka and begins at 7pm Dubai time. Venus defeated Azarenka in their only previous meeting at the Beijing Olympics in 2008. Azarenka defeated Serena Williams to win an even bigger title than Dubai last year, so definitely knows what it takes to win this final.
In what looks like a great match up on paper it promises to be a battle of who can dictate the points before their opponent does and whose greatest weapon is executed best. The Venus Serve versus the Azarenka Return of Serve.
In 2009 Venus finished in the Top 10 performers on the WTA Tour in 5 of the 6 serving categories including rated No.1 in service games won. Venus needs to have her big serves hit the mark on the crucial points to win Dubai.
In 2009 Azarenka finished No.1 in 3 of the 4 Return of Serve categories and finished No.3 in the final category. Azarenka will need to convert her break point opportunities because against the games leading players Azarenka tends to lose her service game at least once per set. Therefore, the 20 year old Belarusian must break Venus in each set to win this match.
Stay tuned to this tennis website for more coverage of the 2010 Women’s Dubai Tennis Championships and click this link for further information-> Dubai 2010 Women: Feb 12-20.
Today’s POST is dedicated to Hana Mandlikova. Mandlikova was born on this day in 1962 and is from the Czech Republic. She won 4 Grand Slam singles titles including the Australian Open in 1980 & 1987, the 1981 French Open and the 1985 US Open. She first achieved her highest career ranking of World No.3 on 16 April 1984.
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photo credit: emmettanderson