Venus and Wozniacki win, Radwanska falls at Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships
Venus Williams gained revenge for her defeat earlier this year in the Auckland final, overwhelming Ana Ivanovic 6-2 6-1 to reach the quarter-finals of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.
There was also a win for 2011 Dubai champion Caroline Wozniacki, who ended the run of qualifier Annika Beck with a hard-fought 6-4 6-4 victory, but 2012 winner, world number three and second seed Agnieszka Radwanska fell 6-4 6-1 to qualifier Flavia Pennetta.
Radwanska rarely looked comfortable against Pennetta, who although having to qualify in Dubai, is an experienced opponent who reached the semi-finals at the 2013 US Open. After building a 4-1 lead the former champion’s challenge fell away and Pennetta was able to claim a comfortable victory.
“The ball was really flying,” said Radwanska. “I didn’t really feel the ball today at all. I think she was using the wind much, much better than I did. The conditions for me are tough. When I don’t feel the ball, it’s not good.”
Williams will now face Pennetta for a place in the semi-finals.
Wozniacki was stretched by Beck, who ousted Australian Open semi-finalist Eugenie Bouchard in the qualifying rounds and then upset former US Open champion Samantha Stosur in the first round. The former world number one struggled to close out the first set after leading 5-1 and failed to serve out the match at 5-3, but broke serve in the final game to claim a welcome victory.
“No player, no matter what their standing in the game, is guaranteed victory at what is one of the most strongly contested events on the WTA Tour,” said Colm McLoughlin, Executive Vice Chairman of tournament owners and organisers Dubai Duty Free. “The world number three has failed to win a match here this year, and another former Dubai champion, Caroline Wozniacki, had to work very hard indeed to overcome a valiant effort from Annika Beck.”
“Once again we have enjoyed some excellent competition between many of the very best players in the world,” said Tournament Director Salah Tahlak.
“Every player, no matter how successful, knows that when they play the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships they have to produce their very best right from their opening match. Not all succeed.”
Play in the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships WTA event run until 22nd February and features world number one Serena Williams, defending champion Petra Kvitova, former winners Caroline Wozniacki and Venus Williams, and Serbian former world number one Jelena Jankovic.
Play then continues between 24th February and 1st March with the action-packed ATP tournament that includes defending champion Novak Djokovic, five-time winner Roger Federer, recent Australian Open semi-finalist and last week’s Rotterdam winner Tomas Berdych, former US Open winner and recent Sydney champion Juan Martin Del Potro, and charismatic Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.