• Dubai Tennis Championships

Serena stunned by classy Cornet in Dubai

ESPN staff
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Serena Williams saved four match points, but was unable to deny Alize Cornet © AP
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Serena Williams failed to secure a battle in the final of the Dubai Tennis Championships against her sister Venus after she was beaten by Alize Cornet in straight sets.

The world No.1 has never won the title in Dubai, and that run is set to continue after Cornet collected the biggest win of her career with a superb display to emerge a 6-4 6-4 victor.

Cornet prior to the semi-finals had yet to beat a player inside the world's top four having lost all 17 encounters, and had lost all three previous meetings with Williams.

But Cornet took one major step towards a maiden win over the current French and US Open champion by claiming the opening set with a backhand down the line after Williams was broken in the ninth game, enabling France's No.1 to take advantage of the semi-final.

Cornet was in control as she raced into a 2-0 lead, but Williams hit back. However, the American faltered on her serve once again as she was broken in the seventh game, but despite saving four match points to stay in the contest at 5-4 down, Cornet clinched the win to love on her serve to reach the final.

"She played really well," Williams said after the loss. "I didn't play well. I tried, though. I just kept hitting errors. I don't think I've made that many errors in a match in at least three, maybe four years."

In the other semi-final, Venus Williams defeated former world No.1 Caroline Wozniacki 6-3 6-2.

And Wozniacki admitted after the match there was nothing she could do to deny Venus from powering her way into her first final of any significance in almost four years.

"It was kind of uphill today. In the beginning I felt like she was dictating almost everything and making just a few mistakes, so that kind of got me a couple of games," Wozniacki said.

"Then towards the end of the first set and in the second set we had some longer rallies, and I was stepping my game up a little bit, but then she did as well. She played well and was very steady and kept her head cool. She played a good match - I started off very slow, and once I got going it was too late."

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