x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Venus continues flawless form with win over Pennetta at Dubai Tennis Championships

Venus Williams advanced to the semi-finals at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on Thursday, beating Italian Flavia Pennetta 6-3, 7-5. She will face Caroline Wozniacki in Friday's semi-final.

Venus Williams will play either Caroline Wozniacki or Sorana Cirstea in the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships semi-finals. Ali Haider / EPA
Venus Williams will play either Caroline Wozniacki or Sorana Cirstea in the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships semi-finals. Ali Haider / EPA

DUBAI // Two-time winner Venus Williams maintained her flawless form at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, defeating Flavia Pennetta 6-3, 7-5 to book her place in Friday’s semi-finals.

The 33 year-old American, who won the tournament in 2009 and 2010 before being forced to miss the next three iterations through illness, has now won 13 successive matches at the Aviation Club. She has not dropped a set all week.

Pennetta, who had started the contest with a 4-3 head-to-head record over Williams, asked more questions than the seven-time grand slam winner’s previous opponents this week, taking an early lead when she broke in the third game. Williams broke back in the sixth before taking the outright lead in the eighth and, leading 5-3, raced to 40-0. She did not need the three set-points.

The second set started where the first had ended with Williams immediately breaking her Italian opponent with aggressive, powerful play. The following five games went to serve before Pennetta faced another break point in the seventh, but she recovered to close out her service game with a delightful drop shot that left Williams stranded at the back of the court.

Pennetta found herself on the verge of levelling the set in the eighth, but Williams forced deuce and served an ace for the game. In the 10th, she broke back, but immediately failed to hold her serve to give the upper hand back to the American.

With Williams serving at 6-5, there was only going to be one outcome. She now faces Caroline Wozniacki, who dispatched Sorana Cirstea in straight sets on Thursday, for Friday’s semi-final match.

Check back shortly with www.thenational.ae/sport for a full match report.

gmeenaghan@thenational.ae

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