First win for Venus in Doha
Doha, November 10:
Venus Williams rallied to win the WTA’s Sony Ericsson Championships for the first time, defeating Vera Zvonareva 6-7 (5), 6-0, 6-2 in the final of the season-ending event on Sunday.
Williams took command in the last two sets with powerful serving, smashes and aggressive groundstrokes against the Russian. “I’m so excited,” Williams said. “That was a hard-fought match, every point, right down to the end.” Williams won $1.34m at the event, which for the first time offered the same prize money as the men at the ATP’s season-ending Masters Cup in Shanghai.
Williams’ ranking will improve to No 6 from No 8, while the ninth-ranked Zvonareva also will move up two spots. The two were the lowest-ranked players at the event, which featured the top eight players in the world.
Zvonareva became increasingly frustrated and collapsed to the ground in tears when Williams broke her in the final set to go up 3-1. Williams, who lost their first meeting at the 2003 French Open, now holds a 6-1 record against Zvonareva.
Zvonareva surged to 5-2 in the first set, and led 5-3, 40-0. But she was unable to convert four set points in that game, and Williams won it on her second break point.
In the tiebreaker, Zvonareva fell behind 1-5, but rallied to win it on her fifth set point when her backhand slice clipped the net cord and dropped over.