Serena Beats Venus, Clinches No. 1 at Doha
by Sean Randall | October 29th, 2009, 9:40 am

With a sparse few looking on from the stands, Serena Williams clinched her second career year-end No. 1 finish after edging her sister and defending champion Venus, 5-7, 6-4, 7-6(4), during Wednesday’s Doha Championships.

“It was really, really close,” Serena said. “It was almost three hours. It really could have went any way. In the third, at the end of the third, she just started playing great. I was just trying to do what I could do. I just kept saying, I want to end this year No. 1, so I better lift up the level of my game.”

I only caught a little of the match but what I did see seemed to be of good quality and entertaining tennis. Unfortunately the stands in Doha were near-empty. I’d have to guess that was the fewest fans to ever watch an all-sisters showdown. And the result looked really bad on TV and it brings into the question the need to stage these championships in areas of the world that simply are not that into tennis.

Serena’s ranking was all but secured after news broke earlier in the day of current No. 1 Dinara Safina’s withdrawal. The embattled Russian almost fittingly ended her 2009 season withdrawing from the event at 1-1 in the first set against Jelena Jankovic because of an ailing back.

Said Safina: “It’s a low back, between L4, L5. I have inflammation there, in the bone, inflammation. I’ve been having it already, I would say, started slowly since Portoroz. I’ve been playing on the pain, on antiinflammatory, on everything. So this been already for about three months, this pain.”

Dinara says she may need as much as “six weeks” to recover leaving her Australian Open attendance in doubt. Because injury, expectations, the weight of the No. 1 ranking and the like, since the French the Russian’s been an emotional wreck on the tour. Time off away from tennis could do her some good provided she gets her back taken care of.

As for Serena, credit to her, there’s little doubt that’s she’s the best player in women’s tennis and after a wild year on the WTA she deserves the No. 1 finish.

Serena’s second win moves her into the semifinals. Joining her from the Maroon Group will likely be Elena Dementieva who plays Serena today but can clinch a final four spot tomorrow with a win over Sveta Kuznetsova.

With Safina out the white group in wide open. But at this stage I like Caroline Wozniacki and Victoria Azarenka to get through. I just hope they get some more people in the stands.

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9 Comments for Serena Beats Venus, Clinches No. 1 at Doha

Voicemale1 Says:

I thought Venus played extremely well, better than she has on a hard court for a long time. Especially her Forehand. She made some errors like she always does, but it was great to see her hang with it and fire that shot up for some spectacular winners. Serena’s serve was just a little more consistent, and in the end that made the difference. Tough draw for Venus having to play the two women who might well play for the title. Her serve was too erratic and that ended up costing her. She acquitted herself really well overall.

Lindsay Davenport said last night a shocking statistic I’d never heard before: Venus Williams, with 7 Majors in her bank account, has only spent a scant 11 Weeks as World #1! For all her career accomplishments you’d have thought she’d have been #1 for more time than that.

Kimmi Says:

I am glad Venus won one match.

sar Says:

Yes, Venus played very well today. $100,000 for the win isn’t bad either.

Kimmi Says:

sar, I sent two posts and have been swallowed up..don’t know why ? maybe did not like my attachement, it was a draw sheet showing money distribution.

Anyways, i was saying. Its 200K for one win and agreed, not bad at all. A lot of money for grabs out there.

sar Says:

Try and resend the link.

sar Says:

Never mind I found it.

Singles (all amounts in USD)
Winner*: $1,550,000
Runner-up*: $780,000
Round Robin (3 wins): $400,000
Round Robin (2 wins): $300,000
Round Robin (1 win): $200,000
Round Robin (no wins): $100,000
Alternate: $50,000

Kimmi Says:

Great you found it, coz it still did not work.

Wow ! a lot of money for grabs here, Serena already with 400K

Kimmi Says:

More drama in Doha. The girls are breaking apart. Unfortunately Kutzy got a tough draw; she could have given us a great match in the semi, now we end up with Wozniacki, who could not move against JJ today. Can she hold up against Serena? I just hope so; we don’t want another retirement in the semis. Venus and JJ sound promising though.

It’s already looking like the Williams sisters will sweep both singles and doubles.
Sean I agree with you, the Agassi story seem to have taken the center stage this week. No one is watching Doha.

sar Says:

JJ put up a good fight today. Why did Woz retire? Cramps again? It wasn’t clear.

I think Venus might win this tomorrow. I would like her to win something this year. Too bad they lost doubles but hey, you can’t win everything.

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