Serena Seals No.1 in Doha
Published November 01, 2009 12:00
Serena, who came into the season finale ranked No.2 but was assured of finishing the year at No.1 during the round robin portion of the event, put the icing on the cake of her season - which included her 10th and 11th Grand Slam titles at the Australian Open and Wimbledon - with stellar performances in Doha. She went 3-0 in her round robin group, beating Elena Dementieva and Svetlana Kuznetsova in straight sets and saving match point to beat Venus; she then beat Caroline Wozniacki in the semifinals Saturday.
The final was a one-hour, 25-minute affair that was lopsided to start but definitely heated up later on. Serena blew through the first set, 6-2, in just 30 minutes, losing just four points in her four service games and breaking Venus twice. There were no breaks - and barely any deuces - during the serving display that was the second set, as the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour's biggest servers didn't budge until the tie-break. Serena raced out to a 5-1 lead and, although Venus closed the gap to 5-4, Serena closed her out right back with an ace and a huge forehand winner, 62 76(4). Highlights: S.Williams vs. V.Williams
"Playing Venus in the finals was tough," Serena said on court. "Even though she wasn't feeling good, she was getting every ball back. I can't tell you how frustrating that is! Playing her is never easy." Interview: Serena Williams
It was the second time Serena took the Sony Ericsson Championships title, having done it in 2001 as well. She has now beaten Venus four times in a row and has a 13-10 lead in the series. Shot of the Day: Venus Williams
"Now my losing streak in tournaments that aren't Grand Slams is over!" added Serena, who hadn't won a non-major since Charleston in April 2008. "Coming out here and doing well is so exciting. I totally didn't expect to come here and win. My practice at home wasn't going so great, but I just kept fighting."
Venus, who was the No.7 seed and defending champion at the tournament, went 1-2 in her round robin group with tough three set losses to Serena and Dementieva, but edged Kuznetsova to get on the board; Kuznetsova's win over Dementieva sent the American into the semifinal round, where she won another three-setter, this time against longtime rival Jelena Jankovic.
"I have to congratulate Serena for playing a great match today and having a great tournament," Venus said. "Last year I was able to win Wimbledon and the Sony Ericsson Championships, and it felt great. This year I came close to winning both, but it just didn't work out for me. I'll just continue to learn from everything and continue to enjoy what I do." Interview: Venus Williams