The 2010 Dubai Women’s Tennis Championship capped off a great tournament with a top women’s singles final to continue its run of going from strength to strength. Venus Williams played one of the best matches of her career to win Dubai for the 2nd straight year.
The Dubai Open is one of the most important and prestigious tournaments for the year on the WTA Tour because it is a Premier FIVE event. Venus earned 900 WTA ranking points, which is the same as a Grand Slam singles semi finalist earns, and more prize money (350,000 US dollars), than she would by making the semi finals of the Australian Open.
The 29-year-old American came out very determined to claim her 42nd WTA Tour singles title, which moves her 1 ahead of Justine Henin. Venus is now No.1 in women’s tennis in terms of holding more singles titles than any other active player. Venus also posted another victory for the established champions against the young stars of the game.
Victoria Azarenka won the toss and not surprisingly chose to receive in the ensuing battle of the Venus Serve versus the Azarenka Return of Serve. In the 1st set both players went toe-to-toe trying to establish the upper hand in being the first player to go on the offensive and dictate the points. Throughout this match the standard of play was very high and the variety of play and attacks were great to see. The first 4 games saw the match levelled at 2-2.
Venus broke Azarenka in the 6th game after she successfully challenged a line call, which the replay verified that it was a double fault. After taking 3 games in a row to lead 5-2 Azarenka then held serve for 5-3 forcing Venus to serve for the 1st set.
The 1.85m Venus prevailed in the 1st set with her consistently big serving to limit Azarenka to just one break point opportunity for the entire set. This chance came for the 20 year old Belarusian when Venus was serving for the 1st set. Venus won the key points in the set by saving that break point against her and converting 1 of 2 break point opportunities against her opponent’s serve.
After taking the 1st set 6-3 Venus immediately broke Azraenka in the 1st game of the 2nd set and kept that advantage until 3-2. From this point on both players were neck and neck as Azarenka broke back to even the set at 3-3. Azarenka showed that she has taken some steps in the right direction in terms of fighting harder and not free falling when her opponent has a good grip on the match.
At 5 games all Venus broke Azarenka to serve for the Championship at 6-5. Venus held 2 championship points at 40-15. Azarenka saved the first with an overhead winner then saved the 2nd with a power cross-court forehand winner. On her 3rd championship point Venus triumphed to take the set and match 7-5.
Venus was able to break the serve of Azarenka on 3 occasions from her 4 break point opportunities whereas Azarenka only breaking Venus once and was limited to just 2 opportunities. The Venus Serve prevailed over the Azarenka Return of Serve.
The absolute FOCUS and tremendous early preparation by both Williams sisters was evident once again and really allowed Venus to continually go on the offensive. This resulted in her finishing with more winners (29 clean winners), than unforced errors as opposed to Azarenka, who hit 8 winners to 18 unforced errors.
Pictured above is Azarenka a moment away from making contact with her serve during the 2010 Australian Open semi final against Serena Williams.
For further coverage of the 2010 Women’s Dubai Tennis Championships on this tennis website click this link -> Dubai 2010 Women: Feb 12-20.
© OnCourtAdvantage.com 2010
photo credit: Carlos Andrés Restrepo