Venus victorious in Dubai

Venus Williams powered to a 6-3 7-5 win over Victoria Azarenka to win the successive Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships.

The third seed took the opening set courtesy of a single break in game seven and led 3-1 in the second before the Belarusian launched a comeback.

Azarenka, seeded fourth, broke back and was level at 5-5 before world number five Williams’ second break of the set left her to successfully serve out the match.

Williams said: “I expected her to come out and play well. I respect her game and the effort she gives. Even though I was leading in the second set, she just never gave up.

“Obviously I’m happy to close the tournament out. I’ve had a lot of success here the last two years, and I enjoy my time off the courts too so playing well here makes it even more satisfying for me.”

Azarenka added: “It was very high-quality tennis from both of us. I had a little bit of bad luck on a few balls, but I’m proud of what I did today.

“It wasn’t so much about power, but more about the precision – she was hitting it so close to the lines. She played too well today.”

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