Dubai:Venus Williams successfully defended her Dubai Championships title by beating Victoria Azarenka 6-3, 7-5 in the final on Saturday.
Williams broke Azarenka a third time at 5-5 in the second set and served out for her 42nd singles title on the WTA Tour.
Unlike last year, Williams didn't lose a set in her five matches, and in the final she lost her serve only once to Azarenka, ranked No. 6, one spot behind Williams.
She served well, hitting seven aces and winning 80 percent of her first serves.
Williams sealed the first set with a break for 4-2, after she successfully challenged a long second serve by Azarenka with Hawkeye.
Azarenka, who'd lost to Williams at the Beijing Olympics before the Belarus star became a top-10 player, broke to even the second set at 3-3, but Williams got her back at the end.
"It was definitely very competitive," Williams said. "I expected her to come out and play very well. I respect her game. Just the effort that she gives it. Even though I was leading in the second set, she just never gave up. She played really well and I am obviously happy to close the tournament out."
Azarenka was looking for her fourth title in less than 12 months but couldn't force enough breaks.
"It was hard," she said. "Venus came off with some big shots. Just, you know, a little bit of bad luck on a few balls. But I'm proud of what I did today."
Though Williams, at 29, had nine years on Azarenka, she said age made no difference.
"Obviously, I have an experience advantage over most of the players I play. But I just don't think of it the same way as you guys (reporters)," she said.
"You guys are on the sidelines looking at the stats, looking at the numbers. I'm out there preparing my game. I'm thinking about how am I going to execute my serve. If I'm making this mistake, how do I correct it? So, I'm not thinking about anyone's age. You know, we're on two different sides!"