Venus on top, again
Maybe, just maybe, this is the start of a comeback by Venus Williams.
The 33-year-old American (right) claimed her biggest win in nearly four years when she beat Frenchwoman Alize Cornet 6-3, 6-0 in the final at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.
It was an emphatic win for the former world No. 1, who took sweet revenge after 26th-ranked Cornet stunned her sister Serena in the semi-finals to prevent an all-Williams final.
Now ranked world No. 44, Venus is finding Dubai a happy hunting ground, after winning there in her last two appearances in 2009 and 2010.
The seven-time Grand Slam champion has struggled for much of the past four years - winning just five of her 44 titles in that span.
She was officially diagnosed with the auto immune disease Sjögren's syndrome in 2011, but says she is managing it better now.
"I credit my losses for these wins," said Venus. "You learn from your losses. The idea is to stay calm and go about the plan on court."
Williams did not drop a set in Dubai, beating four higher-ranked opponents along the way including former world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki and French Open champion Ana Ivanovic.
"I feel like I've just gotten so much better since my first round... just feeling comfortable on the court, feeling comfortable when I'm behind, feeling comfortable when I'm in the lead," Williams said.
"It reminds me a lot of when I first came on Tour, having to learn a lot."
The victory suggested that the veteran may be making her way back - after prolonged health problems - to a position where she could be seeded in major events.
"To come into a tournament with such a strong draw and to get through is a wonderful result," said Venus. - Wire Services.