Seventh seed Venus Williams clinched her first title at the Sony Ericsson Championships with a 6-7(5) 6-0 6-2 victory over Vera Zvonareva in the last match of the 2008 WTA tennis season.
Zvonareva started off very well, breaking Williams’ first service game, and holding the lead up until what could have been the Russian’s victory in the first set. Namely, Zvonareva served to close out the opening set at 5-3, but wasted four set points and Williams managed to return the break, and later to force a tiebreak.
In the tiebreaker American Venus Williams established what seemed to be a solid lead (5-1), but Zvonareva remarkably fought back, which I didn’t think she was capable of doing as I though the momentum totally switched to Venus. Eighth-seeded Zvonareva won six successive points to take the first set.
In the following set Williams bageled Zvonareva. I had expected much more resistance from Zvonareva, she should have gotten some confidence having won the first set after coming back in the tiebreak.
The third set was also a domination of the older Williams sister. The 28-year-old American took a 2-0 lead right away, and even though Zvonareva managed to rebreak and win her first game after eight lost ones, Williams broke Zvonareva’s serve once again, and then stormed through the third set.
Williams hasn’t lost a match on her way to the season-ending title, and her third one in 2008 after Wimbledon and Zurich Open. Zvonareva hasn’t lost a match in Doha until clashing with Venus, and despite today’s defeat she has shown an outstanding return to Top 10 form after troubled 2007.
Winning the Sony Ericsson Championships title and the $1,340,000 million first prize, Venus Williams overtakes Martina Navratilova for fourth place on the all-time list of top prize money earners in women’s tennis.
Williams will climb to No.6 in the world, while Zvonareva will rise to No.7.