Saturday, February 20, 2010

Venus defends Dubai title

When Venus Williams is on her game, she is very, very hard to beat. She was on it today in Dubai, and defeated spirited challenger Victoria Azarenka 6-3, 7-5 to win her second Dubai title in as many years.

Williams' serve was working well for her, she hit seven aces, and her backhand was as good as ever. Throughout the match, Azarenka had to work harder. She served better in the second set, which definitely helped her. And though she lost the final, Azarenka treated every point as a new opportunity, something she has not been able to do in the past. Gone (at least for now) are the meltdowns and negative attitudes that plagued her in the past. If she can keep up this mentality, she really has nowhere to go but up.

In the meantime, Venus Williams now has 42 singles titles to her credit, and--if she keeps playing like she did today--she will increase that number.


Karen said...

Very nice write up Diane. I love Azarenka. I think of all the young players she and Sabine are the ones to watch. Azarenka is developing in leaps and bounds and is just improving every single day. I like how her temperament has improved and I am wondering if the new coach has anything to do with it. Either that or she has read the negative comments from fans who really do like her but are sick and tired of the meltdowns and abuse of ball kids and racquets. Anywho, my favourite player of all time, Venus, successfully defended her title and as a fan that is all I can ask of this great champion at this time. 29 years old and still going strong. Amazing. I will watch the replay later today and savour this victory. I wonder if Azarenka's befriending of Serena has anything to do with her improved mindset as well.

Anonymous said...

Loved the match! Williams and her down the line winners and Azarenka fighting spirit until the end. Both players did a great job.

Diane said...

Thanks, Karen. Azarenka is being coached by Zvonareva's former coach, and he appeared to help her deal with her emotions--somewhat. With Vera, it's always "somewhat."

It may just be the natural maturing process, too. Azarenka is bright and poised off of the court, and she may just be learning to take that persona onto the court, too. I see her as continuing to get better in every way.

It really was a good match, and it was nice to see Venus at her best.

BS said...

I thought that Azarenka had a good chance of beating Venus today, but it sounds like Venus was just too good. I thought at the end of last season that she was coming towards the end of her career but the way she has played this week it wouldn't surprise me if she won a few more titles this year, and I think she will reclaim Wimbledon from Serena.

Karen said...

Diane, she had a wonderful quote in the press when she was asked about age. Here is her response.
"Obviously, I have an experience advantage over most of the players I play. But I just don't think of it the same way as you guys (reporters)," she said. "You guys are on the sidelines looking at the stats, looking at the numbers. I'm out there preparing my game. I'm thinking about how am I going to execute my serve. If I'm making this mistake, how do I correct it? So, I'm not thinking about anyone's age. You know, we're on two different sides". Could not have said it better myself. I liked how she spoke during the trophy ceremony. Sometimes you make more of an impact when you walk lightly and speak softly. She turned and addressed the dignitaries in her host country and thanked them in a way that did not condemn but showed that with every little thing change will come. Whether it is through tennis or diplomacy there will be change. Loved her for that.

Diane said...

I also liked that she congratulated Nuria and Maria. It's easy to forget that there are two championships.