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08 December 2023

Dubai Tennis: Serena and Venus one win away from clashing in final

Serena Williams defeated Jelena Jankovic on Thursday. (SUPPLIED)

By Staff

Serena Williams is just one win away from facing sister Venus in Saturday’s final of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships after both claimed straight-set victories on Thursday.

World number one Serena defeated fifth seed Jelena Jankovic 6-2 6-2, and Venus fought off a strong late challenge from qualifier Flavia Pennetta to win 6-3 7-5.

Serena’s opponent in the semi-finals will be Alize Cornet, who defeated Carla Suarez Navarro 7-5 6-3, while Venus will tackle 2011 champion Caroline Wozniacki, who overwhelmed Sorana Cirstea 6-1 6-2 in just 62 minutes.

Top seeded Serena played a solid match from the beginning, taking a 3-0 lead before closing out the match in style, at one stage winning 12 consecutive points.

It was, she thought, an improvement on her opening performance which followed a month of inactivity.

“It definitely felt a lot more comfortable,” she said. “There are some shots today that I missed that I would never have missed a month ago, so I'm still getting a little rust off. But it feels good. I'm still trying to make sure I keep going in the right direction.”

Jankovic had played her previous matches during the day outside of Centre Court  and found the evening conditions difficult to adjust to.

“The conditions were quite different from what I played in the other courts,” she said. “I felt it was kind of slow and heavy, and the ball didn't go off my racquet. I didn't really do anything with my ball, and, you know, I hit the balls short.”

The Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships is owned and operated by Dubai Duty Free, and held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.