x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Venus through to Doha finale

Venus Williams and Vera Zvonareva were confirmed yesterday as the final competitors in the Sony Ericsson WTA Championships that will be staged in Doha from Nov 4-9.

Venus Williams will compete in Qatar next month.
Venus Williams will compete in Qatar next month.

Venus Williams and Vera Zvonareva were confirmed yesterday as the final competitors in the Sony Ericsson WTA Championships that will be staged in Doha from Nov 4-9. It follows the failure of Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska to register for the final qualifying event of the year, which starts in Quebec tomorrow.

Radwanska was the only player who could have denied the Wimbledon champion Williams and Russia's Zvonareva their places alongside the world's top six at the tour finale in Qatar. Williams will be joined by her younger sister Serena in the prestigious play-offs where the Californian siblings will be up against Serbians Jelena Jankovic and Ana Ivanovic as well as three other Russians - Dinara Safina, the world No 2, Elena Dementieva and Svetlana Kuznetsova.

"I am really pleased. Competing in a round-robin format with players who have performed the best in 2008 is an exciting challenge," said Williams. "This year has been a very positive year and I look forward to continued success in Doha." Zvonareva, who squeezes in to the last of the eight slots thanks to the absence of her injured compatriot Maria Sharapova, was also thrilled to get a crack at the end-of-season tournament.

"It's really a great accomplishment that I have qualified this year," she said after defeating France's Marion Bartoli to reach today's final of the Austrian Open in Linz - where she will face Ana Ivanovic. "It has been a while since I last played in the tournament and it feels wonderful to be one of the best eight players of the regular season. I look forward to returning to Doha after I played really well at the Qatar Total Open."

Larry Scott, the WTA's chief executive, said the presence of the Williams sisters will add to a "fantastic week of tennis". wjohnson@thenational.ae