Venus claims first title since 2012; Nadal enters semis

Venus Williams thrashed Frenchwoman Alize Cornet 6-3, 6-0 in the final of the Dubai Championship on Saturday as the experienced American claimed her first singles title since 2012.

The seven-times Grand Slam winner made light work of Cornet who had stunned Venus' sister Serena in Friday's semifinals to deny the siblings their first final meeting since 2009.

Nadal in semis

Meanwhile, World No 1 Rafael Nadal cruised into the Rio Open semifinals with a 6-1, 6-0 victory over Portugal’s Joao Sousa at Rio de Janiero.

The 27-year-old will face fellow Spaniard Pablo Andujar on Saturday for a place in the final of the inaugural ATP World Tour 500 clay-court event, reports Xinhua.

Andujar advanced by disposing of compatriot Tommy Robredo 6-1, 6-1. Second-seed David Ferrer will play unseeded Alexandr Dolgopolov of Ukraine in the other semifinal.

Ferrer beat Brazilian Thomaz Bellucci 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 while Dolgopolov overcame third-seed Fabio Fognini 6-1, 6-1.

In the women’s event, top seed Klara Zakopalova reached the last four after defeating Katarzyna Piter of Poland 6-4, 6-0.

The Czech will play Teliana Pereira for a place in the final after the Brazilian overcame Romania’s Irina-Camelia Begu 6-4, 6-4.

Johnson continues run

Meanwhile, American qualifier Steve Johnson is through to his first ATP Tour semifinal after an emphatic victory at the Delray Beach Open on Friday.

The 24-year-old, who eliminated top seed Tommy Haas in the second round, dominated sixth seeded Spaniard Feliciano Lopez to win their quarterfinal 6-3, 6-2 in 73 minutes.
Johnson, ranked 142nd in the world, will meet 2012 champion Kevin Anderson in the semifinals on Saturday.

Anderson advanced to the semifinals with a 6-7 (3-7), 6-3, 6-3 victory over Australian Marinko Matosevic.

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