Sports SECTION REDIRECT: tennis

Venus Williams wins first tennis title since 2012

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates -- Venus Williams won her 45th career WTA title at the Dubai Championships in a 6-3, 6-0 victory over Alize Cornet of France in the final at the United Arab Emirates.

The 44th-ranked Williams, playing courtesy of a wild card, also won this title in 2009 and 2010. She’s won her last 15 matches in Dubai. Williams, who will move up to No. 29 in Monday’s updated rankings, last won a title at the 2012 Luxembourg tournament.

“Just a lot of match toughness, mental toughness,” said Williams, when asked to explain her remarkable week of play.

The scoreline didn’t indicate how strong an effort Cornet put into the final, often matching Williams stroke by stroke, but falling short in the end.

After Cornet squandered a 2-1 lead with a service break by losing the next four games, she was in tears during the changeover.

“I think 6-3, 6-0 is a bit tough in an hour and 30, so I guess there was a battle on the court, but she was just better than me today,” Cornet said. “She was playing more aggressive.

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Top-ranked Rafael Nadal will face Alexandr Dolgopolov of Ukraine in the final of the Rio Open at Rio de Janeiro. Nadal, who had not lost on clay since Novak Djokovic beat him in the Monte Carlo Masters 10 months ago, outlasted fellow Spaniard Pablo Andujar, 2-6, 6-3, 7-6 (10).

Dolgopolov stunned second-seeded David Ferrer, 6-4, 6-4. In women’s play, top-seeded Klara Zakopalova of the Czech Republic will play fifth-seeded Kurumi Nara of Japan in the final.

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Kevin Anderson of South Africa defeated U.S. qualifier Steve Johnson, 6-2, 6-4, to reach the final of the Delray Beach (Fla.) Open. Anderson, seeded fourth, will play the winner of the other semifinal between second-seeded John Isner and seventh-seeded Marin Cilic. Anderson won this event in 2012.

Anderson, who lives in Delray Beach, had 13 aces and won 86 percent of his first-serve points against Johnson.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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