(February 20, 2014)DUBAI – Venus Williams fought off a late charge to stop Flavia Pennetta to reach the semifinals of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships with a 6-3, 7-5 win on Thursday.
The two-time former champion had to serve for the match twice. Williams at 5-4 could nor close out the match on her first match point and Pennetta eventually broke serve. Pennetta gave back the service break in the next game and Williams rallied from 0-40 on her serve to finally close out the match.
“She just keeps fighting. She stays relevant,” said Williams of the veteran Penetta. “That’s what she does really well. She stays in the point. I have to give her credit for that. I think I could have maybe made a couple more shots, but it’s not always easy against someone who competes as well as her.”
Williams evaluated her own performance: “I felt good. You know, it was an adjustment playing someone like her. Her game is different than (Ana) Ivanovic, so it was definitely an adjustment. I have to be more patient; the points are going to be longer. We have to be a little bit more measured.
“I think in the beginning of the match I wasn’t really on that mode, but as the match went on, then I started to kind of self‑correct a little bit.”
With Williams in the semifinals and her sister Serena on the other side of the draw, Venus was asked about a possible all-Williams final.
“I think that would be fantastic, you know, but we both have to get there,” Venus said . “I would like both of us to get there, so we’ll see.”
The last time Venus and Serena met in a final was back in 2009 when Serena defeated Venus in Doha in the WTA Year End Championship.
Venus Williams will play eighth-seeded Caroline Wozniacki who dominated Sorana Cirstea 6-1, 6-2.
“That was good. That was really pleasing, and I always know that Sorana can be a tricky opponent,” said Wozniacki. “It was important for me not to let her back in the game, and I felt like I served well and I put the pressure on her and played the way I wanted to play today.”
“All credit to Caroline,” Cirstea said. “She played great today. I think she played one of the best matches I have ever played against her. Very solid. Quite aggressive from the start. She should definitely deserve this win. I didn’t really get a chance to get fully into the match.”