x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Williams sisters meet again

Serena and Venus Williams will face each other for the 19th time in the semi-finals of the Dubai Championships.

Venus Williams returns the ball during her quarter-final victory over Elena Dementieva of Russia. Venus will face sister Serena in the semi-finals.
Venus Williams returns the ball during her quarter-final victory over Elena Dementieva of Russia. Venus will face sister Serena in the semi-finals.

DUBAI // Venus and Serena Williams earned the right to meet for the 19th time as professionals after both won their quarter-finals at the Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships. The sixth seed Venus defeated the defending champion Elena Dementieva 6-3 6-3 in the quarter-finals while the world No 1 Serena ousted eighth seed Ana Ivanovic 6-4 6-4. The sisters are currently tied at 9-9, with Venus having won their last meeting at the WTA Tour Championships at the end of last season. They have met seven times in grand slam finals, Serena leading the way with five victories. Venus was in impressive form against Dementieva, breaking in the Russian's first service game and holding firm to take the set.

Another break in the second put the American firmly in pole position and, when Dementieva was unable to hold her serve at 3-5, Venus sealed victory. Serena began in similar fashion, breaking Ivanovic immediately. The Serb, with her new coach Craig Kardon watching from the stands, hit back to level but Serena was not to be denied and forged ahead again to take the first set. Ivanovic, who has endured a largely miserable time since winning the French Open and briefly becoming world No 1, insisted before the start of the tournament she was almost back to her best. And the 21-year-old opened the second set in fine style, breaking her opponent and moving out to a 4-1 lead. The Australian Open champion was not prepared to settle for a decider, however, and reeled off five games in a row to record a straight-sets victory. The sisters will meet in the evening's semi-final after this afternoon's encounter between Kaia Kanape of Estonia and the unseeded Frenchwoman Virginie Razzano.

*PA Sport For live updates from the women's semi-finals log on to thenational.ae/sport on Friday from 1.45pm