Dubai: Venus Williams moved to within one win of a third singles title here after she demolished another former champion, Denmark’s Caroline Wozniacki, 6-3, 6-2 in their Dubai Duty Free Women’s Open semi-final on Friday.
Venus, who won back-to-back in 2009 and 2010, was near her best once again as she subdued former world number one Wozniacki in an hour and 21 minutes to take her run of successive match wins in Dubai to 13. This was the fifth meeting between the two players and Venus has won all of them.
“At the beginning, I saw the strong draw and here I am in the final. This is such a wonderful result,” said Venus, who was forced to take time out from the game after being diagnosed with autoimmune disease Sjogren’s syndrome in 2011.
“When I get so far, I am looking at the opportunity to play a little more and get better.”
Venus stamped her class on the match from the start with a break in the first and then held for 2-0. But Wozniacki, the youngest of the four semi-finalists at 23, broke back and held for 2-2, only to see her American opponent secure two successive breaks for 5-2.
Wozniacki did not give up as some precious advice from her father and coach Piotr saw the Dane break Venus to love. But Venus had the last laugh as she broke back to take the set 6-3 in 46 minutes.
The second set was a bit more predictable, with Venus breaking in the second and eighth games to take it easily and book a possible meeting with Serena. The younger sister was scheduled to play Frenchwoman Alize Cornet in the second semi-final later on Friday.
“I credit my losses to these wins. The idea is to stay calm and go about the plan on court,” Venus said.
“Obviously Serena is the number one player in the world and I would love to play her here tomorrow. I know Alize is not going to give away the match or something, but Serena will be the favourite to win.”
Friday’s singles semi-finals
Venus Williams (USA) bt Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) 6-3, 6-2
Serena Williams (USA) vs Alize Cornet (FRA)
Saturday’s order of play
Centre Court, finals
5pm: Raquel Kops-Jones & Abigail Spears or Flavia Pennetta & Samantha Stosur vs Alla Kudryavtseva & Anastasia Rodionova
7pm: Serena Williams or Alize Cornet vs Venus Williams