The final of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships was played on Saturday evening in Doha between two unseeded players – 44th ranked wildcard Venus Williams and 26th ranked Alize Cornet. Venus had already won this tournament twice, in 2009 and 2010; and had not played at this Gulf State tournament since then. Cornet had only once been to a Premier Level final, in Rome way back in 2008 and, in total, has only three titles to her name compared to her opponent’s illustrious record.
Both players held their opening games in the first set, followed by a break apiece. With both players racing from side to side along the baseline, they treated the spectators to some wonderful tennis, but it was Venus who took a 5-2 lead with the Frenchwoman serving with new balls to stay in the set. She eventually held from 0-30 after saving two set points, to trail 3-5 but Venus served out the set at 6-3. Even though Williams took the second set to love, there were some wonderful rallies and great points on both sides of the net – including the last game which lasted almost ten minutes.
Two unseeded teams battled for the doubles title. Alla Kudryavseva and Anastasia Rodionova got the better of Raquel Kops-Jones and Abigail Spears in a tight three setter, eventually winning 6-2 5-7 10-8.