Serena upset by Cornet in Dubai semis; Venus beats Wozniacki
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP)
Alize Cornet scored her first career victory over a No. 1 player when she upset Serena Williams 6-4, 6-4 in the Dubai Championships semifinals on Friday.
The 26th-ranked Cornet's win ruined the chances of a first all-Williams final anywhere since 2009.
Venus Williams defeated eighth-seeded Caroline Wozniacki 6-3, 6-2 earlier.
Cornet, looking for her fourth career title, won the first set when Williams flinched when serving in the ninth game.
Cornet took advantage of her one set point in the 10th game with a winning backhand down the line.
The Frenchwoman jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead in the second set but Williams stormed back.
Cornet broke Williams' serve again in the seventh game with a winning forehand down the line.
Williams saved four match points on her own serve in the ninth game, but Cornet served out the match at love.
Meanwhile, Venus Williams dominated eighth-seeded Caroline Wozniacki 6-3, 6-2 to reach the final of the Dubai Championships on Friday.
"I feel like I've just gotten so much better since my first round to now, just feeling comfortable on the court, feeling comfortable when I'm behind, feeling comfortable when I'm in the lead," Williams said. "So it reminds me a lot when I first came on tour, having to learn a lot, so I feel like I'm learning lessons all over again."
Williams, who lost the Auckland final to Ana Ivanovic last month, lost an early 2-0 lead in the first set, but from 2-2 always led in the 81-minute match.
The 44th-ranked Williams, the Dubai champion in 2009 and 2010, failed to serve out the first set at 5-2, surrendering that eighth game at love.
Williams broke back immediately, converting a second set point.
She broke the Dane's serve at 15-40 with a textbook backhand volley for 2-0 in the second set. Another break in the eighth game improved her record against Wozniacki to 5-0.
"I didn't really feel like I could go out and play what I wanted to play," said Wozniacki, who won the Dubai trophy in 2011. "Once I got going, she started to play better as well.
"It was kind of uphill today, and she was serving good first serves, especially when she needed them."