An intriguing semi-final contest takes place at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships between top seed Serena Williams and French No. 1 Alize Cornet. This marks the fourth time the two competitors will meet on the professional circuit, with Williams leading the head-to-head series 3-0. Considering Cornet’s impressive performances over the course of the 2014 season, this could potentially be their most entertaining clash to date.
While many expected a slightly more competitive contest, Serena Williams breezed into the semi-final round, dropping only four games in her match-up against Jelena Jankovic. The American hit 4 aces and saved 4/5 break points against her to defeat the Serbian No. 1 6-2, 6-2 in one hour and 16 minutes. The win advanced Serena’s lead in the head-to-head series to 10-4 and set up a semi-final clash against French No. 1 Alize Cornet.
“It definitely felt a lot more comfortable than my first match,” Williams said afterwards. “There were some shots I missed today that I would never have missed a month ago, so I’m still getting a little rust off, but it feels good overall. And I’m still trying to make sure I keep going in the right direction.”
French No. 1 Alize Cornet toppled Spain’s Carla Suárez Navarro in the final quarter-final match-up of the day with a straight sets victory. Cornet was down a break twice in the opening set and once again in the second set but the French native refused to surrender the set and eventually closed out the match 7-5, 6-3 to arrive at her second semi-final of the season.
“I’m excited,” Cornet said of the match-up. “I’ve had a great tournament so far and tomorrow’s going to be like a bonus for me. Of course I believe in my chances and I’ll give my best like I do in every match though. I’ll play my game and use my topspin and fighting spirit and we’ll see how the match goes. I look forward to seeing how I compare against the best player in the world and a great champion.”
Cornet, who is 0-17 against Top 4 players in her career, will be looking for her first ever victory over an elite competitor tomorrow afternoon.
This marks the fourth time the two competitors will meet on the professional circuit, with Williams leading the head-to-head series 3-0. Cornet’s has only managed to take a set off the American once in their previous three match-ups, meaning she will need to find her best tennis to manage such a feat again tomorrow afternoon.
Prediction: Serena Williams in Straight Sets