2014/09/21

Tennis Stars Venus Williams, Tomas Berdych Pose for ESPN The Magazine’s Body Issue

Venus Williams photo by Williams+Hirakawa for ESPN The Magazine

Venus Williams photo by Williams+Hirakawa for ESPN The Magazine

 

(June 23, 2014) Five-time Wimbledon champion Venus Williams and 2010 Wimbledon finalist, No 6 Tomas Berdych, will be featured in this year’s The Body Issue by ESPN The Magazine.

 

In addition to posing nude for the issue, Williams exposes harrowing new details about her ongoing battle with Sjogren’s syndrome, an autoimmune disorder. “At my worst point, I wasn’t able to play tennis at all,” says Williams. “Just the whole quality of my life was compromised. You are so tired it hurts. You have to accept that you’re never going to be 100%.”

 

Williams, who was forced to stop playing for just over six months because of the illness, reveals how she was able to work her way back up the rankings. “Because of Sjogren’s syndrome, I have to be careful,” says Williams. “If I train too hard then I won’t be able to do anything the next day. There would be times when I’d park my car at home, and I fell asleep behind the wheel because I was so tired! It’s a balance between pushing myself as much as I can and being reasonable about what I can achieve and what my body will tolerate.”

IG_BWW_TomasBerdych

Berdych photo by Max Vadukul for ESPN The Magazine

 

Berdych becomes only the second ATP player to pose for The Body Issue, following in John Isner’s footsteps last year. Looking towards Wimbledon, the 6-foot-5 ace opens up about how this body reacts to the move from clay to grass. “The grass is a very big challenge for me,” Berdych told ESPN The Magazine reporter Morty Ain. “There are these low bounces and different movements, which is very difficult especially for my height and weight. I start to feel it in the lower back and the lower hamstring.” Regardless, Berdych is optimistic about his prospects. “My first Grand Slam final was at Wimbledon,” he says, “so I have no complaints about the grass.”

 

Share

Serena and Venus Williams Upset at French Open

Serena Williams

Serena Williams

(May 28, 2014) For the first time since Wimbledon 2011, Serena and Venus Williams have been beaten in a major on the same day. At Roland Garros on Wednesday in the second round, defending champion Serena Williams was upset by world No. 35 Garbine Muguruza from Spain 6-2, 6-2, while 29th seed Venus Williams fell to Anna Schmiedlova of Slovakia 2-6, 6-3, 6-4.

Serena’s 64 minute loss marks her worst defeat at a major, winning only four games total. It’s also only the third time the 17-time major champion has lost before the third round of a major.

Coming into Paris, Muguruza, never had a top 5 win.

“It was one of those days. You can’t be on every day, and, gosh, I hate to be off during a Grand Slam,” Serena told media. “It happens, you know. It’s not the end of the world. It is what it is.”

“I was focused,” Muguruza said. “I knew what I had to do.”

“I have actually never seen her play like this,” Williams said. “Hopefully she can keep it up.”

“I haven’t gotten past the fourth round of a Grand Slam this year,” Serena continued. “I have a couple words to describe it, but I think that would be really inappropriate so I’m going to leave it at that.”

Venus Williams let a set and a break lead slip to the 19-year-old Schmiedlova. This is the eighth time in her last nine major tournaments played that sthe 29th seed has not won more than one match.

Had both sisters won, they would have been facing each other in the third round.

With second seed Li Na’s elimination on Tuesday, it marks the first time in the Open Era of tennis that the top two women’s seeds have been eliminated before the third round.

 

More to follow.

Share

Serena and Venus Williams Open with Straight Set Wins in Paris

 

 

(May 25, 2014) Defending champion Serena Williams and her older sister, No. 29 Venus, opened Roland Garros on Sunday with straight sets wins with possibility of a third-round meeting.

Despite the 6-2, 6-1 score over her opponent, friend and training partner at the Mouratoglou Academy in Paris, Alize Lim, Serena played an error-filled match against the wild card entrant from France ranked 130 in the world and the match was much closed than the score indicated. For Lim, she was making her debut at a major.
“In the beginning, a lot of the games went to 30-all, so I think we were pretty even,” Serena said in press. “It was an interesting start. I was a little nervous, like I always am in my first round. It’s kind of always hard for me to shake those nerves and go from there.

“I think it’s nice to have a little bit of nerves, because it means that you still have a passion for it. You still have this inside feeling that you want to do really well or else the nerves wouldn’t be there.”

The 32-year-old 17-time major champion is now 54-1 in first-round matches at majors. He only loss coming at the 2012 French Open to 11th ranked Frenchwoman Virginie Razzano.

Sister Venus Williams started off slowly but gathered herself to defeat 17-year-old Swiss Belinda Bencic 6-4, 6-1. The year Venus turned pro was two-and-a-half years before Bencic was born.

“I’m just trying to hopefully stay alive myself as an older player,” Venus said.

“It’s definitely good to get the first round out of the way and try to get some rhythm,” said the soon-to-be 34-year-old.  “I think I have started on Sunday before. In any case, we’re all ready to be called on Sunday and maybe this year it’s an opportunity, because I think the weather is not as good tomorrow. I was happy to play without any interruptions.”

Venus gave credit to Bencic who is the No. 1 junior player. “She’s played well,” Venus said. “I think she’s improved a lot since we played the first time, and she’s a great competitor.”

“She’s played well. I think she’s improved a lot since we played the first time, and she’s a great competitor.” – See more at: http://www.tennisnow.com/News/Venus-Bests-Bencic-in-Roland-Garros-Opening-Round.aspx#sthash.k3AIkVQ0.dpuf
bviously I have to give some credit to her, as well,” Williams said about Bencic’s efforts. “She’s played well. I think she’s improved a lot since we played the first time, and she’s a great competitor.” – See more at: http://www.tennisnow.com/News/Venus-Bests-Bencic-in-Roland-Garros-Opening-Round.aspx#sthash.k3AIkVQ0.dpuf
Share

Bouchard Tops Venus Williams at Family Circle Cup

 

Eugenie Bouchard

Eugenie Bouchard

(April 3, 2014) Eugenie Bouchard rallied past Venus Williams 7-6 (6), 2-6, 6-4 to reach the Family Circle cup quarterfinals in Charleston.

The No. 6 seed Bouchard fought off two set points in the first set, but the former world No. 1 Venus Williams took four out of the next five games to close out the set. The 33-year old Williams took over in the second set, and took a 2-1 lead in the third. The 20-year-old broke Williams’ serve twice in the third set including the last game to take the match, winning five out of the last seven games of the match.

“I think I’ve shown to myself how mentally strong I can be,” Bouchard said to media “Today was really a mental battle. It was a bit ugly at times and tough on the court, but I fought through it.”

Bouchard explained that she raised her game and held her own during the crucial points during the match.

It was a challenging week for No. 11 seed Venus Williams who suffers from Sjogren’s syndrome. Williams said she was ill  with a “bug” and it limited her stamina during her matches. She was forced to rally in her first two matches.

Bouchard will play No. 2 seed Jelena Jankovic next.

RESULTS – APRIL 03, 2014
Women’s
Singles – Third Round

[2] J Jankovic (SRB) d A Tomljanovic (CRO) 75 61
[3] S Errani (ITA) d S Peng (CHN) 76(6) 76(5)
[14] A Petkovic (GER) d [4] S Lisicki (GER) 61 60
[6] E Bouchard (CAN) d [11] V Williams (USA) 76(6) 26 64
[9] L Safarova (CZE) d [7] S Stosur (AUS) 36 64 64
[12] D Hantuchova (SVK) d T Pereira (BRA) 62 63
J Cepelova (SVK) d [13] E Vesnina (RUS) 76(4) 36 63
[Q] B Bencic (SUI) d E Svitolina (UKR) 67(4) 64 61

Women’s
Doubles – Quarterfinals

[3] R Kops-Jones (USA) / A Spears (USA) d [WC] J Jankovic (SRB) / A Petkovic (GER) 64 16 16-14
[PR] H Chan (TPE) / Y Chan (TPE) d [WC] S Cirstea (ROU) / M Kirilenko (RUS) 63 46 10-8
First Round
M Erakovic (NZL) / A Parra Santonja (ESP) d [1] S Hsieh (TPE) / S Peng (CHN) 54 Retired

ORDER OF PLAY – FRIDAY, APRIL 04, 2014
BILLIE JEAN KING start 11:00 am
M Erakovic (NZL) / A Parra Santonja (ESP) vs A Medina Garrigues (ESP) / Y Shvedova (KAZ)

Not Before 1:00 pm
[6] E Bouchard (CAN) vs [2] J Jankovic (SRB)
[9] L Safarova (CZE) vs [14] A Petkovic (GER)
[3] S Errani (ITA) vs [Q] B Bencic (SUI)

Not Before 7:00 pm
J Cepelova (SVK) vs [12] D Hantuchova (SVK)
A Kudryavtseva (RUS) / A Rodionova (AUS) vs [4] J Goerges (GER) / A Groenefeld (GER)

Share

Venus Williams Battles Back, While Sloane Stephens Falls in Charleston

Venus celebrates

(April 2, 2014) A day after the upset of her sister Serena, Venus Williams had to battle back in both sets of her 7-5, 7-5 win over Chanelle Scheepers to move into the third round of the Family Circle Cup in Charleston on Wednesday.

No. 28 Venus Williams who said that she is ill on Tuesday, said that she’s dealing with it.

“I’m still dealing with the bug, but my goal is just to hang in there until it hopefully goes away and then I can just continue to play my way into the tournament and play stronger,” she said to media “But it’s definitely a challenge.”

Venus Williams suffers from Sjogren’s syndrome, an autoimmune disease.

No. 18 Sloane Stephens fell to teenager Elina Svitolina 6-4, 6-4 earlier on Wednesday. For the Ukrainian who is ranked 35 in the world, it’s her fourth win over a top 20 player. The others include Svetlana Kuznetsova, Roberta Vinci and Eugenie Bouchard.

RESULTS – APRIL 02, 2014
Women’s
Singles – Second Round
[2] J Jankovic (SRB) d L Davis (USA) 60 63
[3] S Errani (ITA) d [Q] K Bertens (NED) 63 00 Retired
[4] S Lisicki (GER) d V King (USA) 75 46 63
E Svitolina (UKR) d [5] S Stephens (USA) 64 64
[11] V Williams (USA) d C Scheepers (RSA) 75 75
[12] D Hantuchova (SVK) d [Q] G Min (USA) 62 63
[13] E Vesnina (RUS) d P Cetkovska (CZE) 36 62 64
[14] A Petkovic (GER) d L Dominguez Lino (ESP) 60 60
S Peng (CHN) d [15] M Keys (USA) 61 67(3) 76(4)
A Tomljanovic (CRO) d [16] S Zhang (CHN) 46 76(4) 63
[Q] B Bencic (SUI) d M Erakovic (NZL) 62 61

Women’s
Doubles – First Round
[PR] H Chan (TPE) / Y Chan (TPE) d [2] K Peschke (CZE) / L Safarova (CZE) 64 64
[3] R Kops-Jones (USA) / A Spears (USA) d [Alt] J Gajdosova (AUS) / S Zheng (CHN) 63 36 11-9
A Medina Garrigues (ESP) / Y Shvedova (KAZ) d [WC] E Bouchard (CAN) / T Townsend (USA) 67(0) 63 10-7
A Kudryavtseva (RUS) / A Rodionova (AUS) d M Lucic-Baroni (CRO) / N Petrova (RUS) 62 26 10-3

ORDER OF PLAY – THURSDAY, APRIL 03, 2014
BILLIE JEAN KING start 11:00 am
[3] S Errani (ITA) vs S Peng (CHN)

Not Before 1:00 pm
[6] E Bouchard (CAN) vs [11] V Williams (USA)
[14] A Petkovic (GER) vs [4] S Lisicki (GER)
A Tomljanovic (CRO) vs [2] J Jankovic (SRB)

Not Before 7:00 pm
[7] S Stosur (AUS) vs [9] L Safarova (CZE)
[WC] S Cirstea (ROU) / M Kirilenko (RUS) vs [PR] H Chan (TPE) / Y Chan (TPE)

ALTHEA GIBSON start 11:00 am
[12] D Hantuchova (SVK) vs T Pereira (BRA)
J Cepelova (SVK) vs [13] E Vesnina (RUS)
[Q] B Bencic (SUI) vs E Svitolina (UKR)
[1] S Hsieh (TPE) / S Peng (CHN) vs M Erakovic (NZL) / A Parra Santonja (ESP)
After Suitable Rest – [3] R Kops-Jones (USA) / A Spears (USA) vs [WC] J Jankovic (SRB) / A Petkovic (GER)

Share

Serena Williams Ousted in Charleston

Serena Williams

(April 1, 2014) Serena Williams, fresh from her Sony Open win on Saturday, fell in her opening match at the Family Circle Cup in Charleston on Tuesday night to world No. 78 Jana Cepelova 6-4, 6-4.

Serena told media after the match: “I’m really just dead. I need some weeks off where I don’t think about tennis and kind of regroup. I’ve had a long couple of years, and I’m really a little fatigued.”

I think Jana played really well for her today,” she said. “The good thing is I know I can play a lot better. So it’s always really positive for me.”

“It wasn’t my day. It wasn’t meant to be.”

Sister Venus Williams had to struggle, but made it past Barbora Zahlavova Strycova 6-3, 0-6, 7-5.

 

RESULTS – APRIL 01, 2014
Women’s
Singles – Second Round

J Cepelova (SVK) d [1] S Williams (USA) 64 64
[6] E Bouchard (CAN) d [Q] A Kudryavtseva (RUS) 62 60
[7] S Stosur (AUS) d Y Shvedova (KAZ) 63 57 61
T Pereira (BRA) d [8] S Cirstea (ROU) 36 63 76(0)
[9] L Safarova (CZE) d V Razzano (FRA) 26 64 64
First Round
[11] V Williams (USA) d B Zahlavova Strycova (CZE) 63 06 75
[12] D Hantuchova (SVK) d [WC] S Rogers (USA) 75 75
[13] E Vesnina (RUS) d A Schmiedlova (SVK) 62 61
[14] A Petkovic (GER) d [Q] L Tsurenko (UKR) 67(2) 64 61
[16] S Zhang (CHN) d S Hsieh (TPE) 36 76(5) 76(0)
S Peng (CHN) d C Garcia (FRA) 62 63
M Erakovic (NZL) d [WC] N Petrova (RUS) 46 63 64
L Dominguez Lino (ESP) d A Medina Garrigues (ESP) 63 62
V King (USA) d J Glushko (ISR) 46 75 63

Women’s
Doubles – First Round

[4] J Goerges (GER) / A Groenefeld (GER) d J Husarova (SVK) / V Lepchenko (USA) 62 67(3) 10-5
[WC] J Jankovic (SRB) / A Petkovic (GER) d L Huber (USA) / L Raymond (USA) 75 26 10-7
[WC] S Cirstea (ROU) / M Kirilenko (RUS) d A Rosolska (POL) / C Scheepers (RSA) 46 63 11-9

ORDER OF PLAY – WEDNESDAY, APRIL 02, 2014
BILLIE JEAN KING start 10:00 am
E Svitolina (UKR) vs [5] S Stephens (USA)
V King (USA) vs [4] S Lisicki (GER)
[3] S Errani (ITA) vs [Q] K Bertens (NED)
C Scheepers (RSA) vs [11] V Williams (USA)

Not Before 7:00 pm
L Davis (USA) vs [2] J Jankovic (SRB)
[3] R Kops-Jones (USA) / A Spears (USA) vs [Alt] J Gajdosova (AUS) / S Zheng (CHN)

ALTHEA GIBSON start 10:00 am
P Cetkovska (CZE) vs [13] E Vesnina (RUS)
S Peng (CHN) vs [15] M Keys (USA)
[14] A Petkovic (GER) vs L Dominguez Lino (ESP)
[16] S Zhang (CHN) vs A Tomljanovic (CRO)
M Lucic-Baroni (CRO) / N Petrova (RUS) vs A Kudryavtseva (RUS) / A Rodionova (AUS)

COURT 3 start 11:00 am
[12] D Hantuchova (SVK) vs [Q] G Min (USA)

Not Before 12:30 pm
[Q] B Bencic (SUI) vs M Erakovic (NZL)
A Medina Garrigues (ESP) / Y Shvedova (KAZ) vs [WC] E Bouchard (CAN) / T Townsend (USA)
[PR] H Chan (TPE) / Y Chan (TPE) vs [2] K Peschke (CZE) / L Safarova (CZE)

Share

“Straight-Up Bad,” Sloane Stephens Crushed by Caroline Wozniacki at Sony Open

sLOANE sTEPHENS dUBAI

Sloane Stephens

(March 23, 2014) No. 18 Caroline Wozniacki destroyed No. 16 Sloane Stephens 6-1, 6-0 on Stadium Court in less than an hour at the Sony Open.

“I’m pleased about the way I played,” Wozniacki aid.  Definitely very happy about the performance out there.

Stephens’ lone game in the match came on a break of serve, she did not hold her serve at all during the match.

“Just really disappointing night,” Stephens said.  Just got my butt kicked, and that’s about it really.

The statistics tell the story of the match for Stephens. She committed 37 unforced errors and hit only 12 winners. The American won only 26 points in the entire 55 minute match.

“Just try and make some balls in the court,” Stephens said in press.  “That normally helps.  Just, like I said, it was really disappointing.  Just wasn’t getting ball in the court.  She played solid.”

“It wasn’t like it was a choice or I had any chances,” she continued.  “It was just straight‑up bad.”

“I have been playing good, practicing good.  Everything has been good.  Just kind of a disappointing night for me.  It’s just something ‑‑ it just happened.  I couldn’t fight my way out of it.

“Not really anything I’m going to cry too much over.  I’m just going to get back to work and get ready for Charleston next week.”

Wozniacki was asked about her focus during the match when her opponent was not playing up to her potential.

“You actually have to stay even more focused because you know she’s going to go for it at some point,” said the Dane.  “Things can turn easy, especially when you’re up by a lot.

“The other person doesn’t have anything to lose, so you know you really have to be on your toes and expect anything.”

“So I just stayed focused out there.  I didn’t let her into the match.  I didn’t give one point away.  I was very happy about that.”

Wozniacki will play her fourth round march against Vavara Lepchenko.

Share

Venus Williams Ekes Out Victory over Dellacqua

(March 23, 2014) Three-time Sony Open champion Venus Williams edged out wildcard Casey Dellacqua 6-4, 5-7, 6-4 to reach the fourth round on Sunday.

The match which lasted two-and-a-half hours saw Williams commit 44 unforced errors but she hit 11 aces in the win.

Williams moved out quickly to a 5-1 lead in the opening set but could not serve out the first set and Dellacqua got back on serve at 4-5. Williams broke to win the first set.
In the second set, the Australia went up a break but Williams evened out the set at 4-4. Dellacqua broke against and closed out the set 7-5.
Williams had a 4-2 lead in the deciding set only to see the lead vanish to 4-4. After holding serve, Williams broke serve to win the match.

“She’s playing so well and mixing her shots up so I knew it wouldn’t be easy, but definitely looking forward to the next round,” Venus Williams said.

“I do try and compete.  I mean, being out here, even if it’s not your best day, no matter what the circumstances are, for me, I just try to walk off the court knowing at least even if I didn’t play my best I gave 100,000%.”

Williams will face No. 10 Dominika Cibulkova, who beat No. 22 Alice Cornet 7-6 (6), 6-1.

“I don’t even know the last time I played her, but I know every time she plays Serena she competes so well,” Venus said.  “I think they played here last year in the semifinals.  I was watching that match.  It may have been a three‑setter.  I just remember it was very tough.

“When I get out there, I just have to see how she’s hitting the ball.  I know she hits it hard and goes for it.  We’ll see.  I just haven’t played her in so long.”

Share

Confident Venus Williams Advances at Sony Open

(March 21, 2014) Three-time former Sony Open winner Venus Williams defeated Anna Schmiedlova 6-3, 6-3. Williams at 33 is the the oldest player in the women’s draw and is playing in Key Biscayne for the 15th time.

It’s her first match since winning the Dubai title last month.

“I have been working hard since then, and I feel really confident, you know, in every situation I’m in on the court,” Venus Williams said.

“So I think that, you know, it was a big help for me in Dubai.”

“She’s competitive, a new player,” Williams said about playing Schmiedlova. “You never know what their game is really going to be like.  I’d never even seen her play.

Coming into Key Biscayne, Williams is on a win streak, riding a crest of confidence.

“I feel good on the court, she said.  “I feel like I have had a chance to play more matches this year than really lots and lots of years.  Many, many years, like four or five.

“So I think that’s been a great advantage for me, as well.  I’m looking forward to playing this tournament obviously and Family Circle, as well.  I’m looking forward to playing my third round I didn’t get to play last year.

My whole plan is to be playing.  That’s it.”

She’ll play in the third round against Casey Dellacqua.

 Li Na Nike

Sony Open No. 2 seed Li made it to the third round without striking a ball on Friday when her opponent Alisa Kleybanova pulled out of the tournament due to a viral illness.  Kleybanova, is making a comeback from Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

No. 6 Simona Halep also pulled out of the tournament due to a right toe injury.

2012 champion Agnieszka Radwanska stopped Romina Oprandi 6-0, 6-4.

Other seeded women winners on the day included (10) Dominika Cibulkova over Yvonne Meusburger 6-1, 6-2, (11) Caroline Wozniacki had to fight her opponent and the crowd when she topped Monica Puig 6-1, 1-6, 6-3, (15) Carla Suarez Navarro beat Chanelle Scheepers 6-4, 6-1 and (17) Sloane Stephens won over Zarina Diyas 7-5, 6-3.

Vavara Lepchenko

Vavara Lepchenko

American Varvara Lepchenko pulled off the biggest upset of the day on the ladies side of the draw by beating No. 7 Jelena Jankovic 6-3, 2-6, 7-6 (2). Other shockers included Barbora Zahlavova Strycova who topped 13 seed Roberta Vinci 6-4, 2-6, 7-5, Elina Svitolina stunned 21st seed Eugenie Bouchard 1-6, 6-1, 6-2, Ajla Tomljanovic defeated (30) Garbine Muguruza and young American Madison Keys stopped (31) Daniela Hantuchova 6-4, 6-2.

“I’m really happy about it,” Keys said.  “I mean, I think I served well.  I think that really helped me today.

The next challenge for Keys will be No. 2 seed Li Na in the third round.

“It’s such a good experience,” Keys said.

“She’s a great player.  She just won the Australian Open so she’s obviously doing well.

Share

Venus Williams Wins Third Dubai Title

Venus with trophy

(February 22, 2014) DUBAI – No. 44 Venus Williams needed a wild card to get into Dubai Tennis Championships and made excellent use of it by winning the tournament defeating 26th ranked Alize Cornet in the final 6-3, 6-0 on Saturday. Cornet knocked off Venus Williams sister and No. 1 Serena Williams on Friday 6-4, 6-4 in her semifinal. It was Cornet’s first win over a No. 1 ranked player.

“I think Serena and I have so much respect for each other that when someone else beats one of us, we think, wow, what did they do?.” Venus said.

“So when I came on the court today, I thought, wow, because I didn’t see a lot of the match because I was kind of expecting Serena to win, so when I saw she was down, I was like, Wow.

“I was trying to get a feel for what exactly did she do to beat Serena?  Obviously I was able to see on the court today.  She’s just playing so consistently and hustling and making the plays.

“I think the difference between me and Serena today was just ‑‑ I think I put a few more balls in the court, and I think Serena set up her points to win them but couldn’t quite put the ball in.

“She hasn’t played since Australia, and I had the opportunity to play last week and play extra rounds, so that probably helped me.”

“6‑3, 6‑0 is a bit tough in an hour and 30, so I guess there was a battle on the court, but she was just better than me today,” Cornet said.  “That’s it.  Really there is nothing to say.

“She was playing more aggressive.  She was pushing me out of the court very far from the baseline, and I didn’t play as deep as yesterday, didn’t serve as well.

“I didn’t miss my final completely, but for sure I didn’t play my best tennis.  But Venus helped it a lot and she played good the whole week, so she deserve this title.”

The victory for Venus Williams marks her third title in Dubai in three appearances. She won in 2009 and 2010 and is now a perfect 15-0 at the event. “I need to play here every year,” she said on court after the match.

Williams is the first unseeded player and also the first wild card tot ake the title in the tournament’s 14-year history.

“Just to be able to be here and compete was, you know, the first thing that made me so happy, and then obviously to play well, win the title and, you know, have this wonderful streak here is, you know, definitely an accomplishment,” said the three-time Dubai winner.

“First of all, I think Alize is playing great,” said the champion.  “I think if she continues to play like that, she’s going to play deep in a lot of tournaments and improve.

“It’s great to see that, because she’s a great, I think, addition to the game.  She brings so much passion on the court, so it’s great to see her playing well.”

“It was a great week for me,” Cornet said.  “It’s always tough to finish like this, and I believed in my chances today.

“I would have loved to make like a better final, you know, with a little bit more of suspense.  And the score is really too hard to finish the week, such a good week, but I will have to take all the positive things out of this week.  I think there is a lot, so I’m still very motivated for the rest of the season.”

For 33-year-old veteran, it’s her 45th career title, her first since winning Luxembourg in 2012. It’s her first Premier title since winning Dubai in 2010. Most importantly it her biggest title since being diagnosed with Sjogren’s Syndrome in 2011.

“I have enjoyed being here with Serena, being able to be at the same tournament,” Venus said.  “We don’t always get to do that, and that was a lot of fun.”

“I tried my best,” said Cornet.  “Really I didn’t play that bad.  She was just ‑‑ she was playing faster.  She was playing deeper.  She was taking the ball earlier than me, and she was serving better.  So, I mean, then I don’t have a lot of chances.

“But this week was for sure a great week for me.  I beat the two top 10 players, two 20 players, and it didn’t happen forever.  For sure it’s amazing.”

By virtue of her week in Dubai, Venus will move up to No. 29 in the world.

More to follow….

Share