The first set in the Dubai final between Venus Williams and Virginie Razzano was filled with really great tennis from both players, and was a pleasure to watch.
You do the Hantuchova
and you turn yourself around...
One of Razzano's tactics was to turn her back on Williams before Williams served, thus slowing down the pace, at least symbolically. Razzano's serves were nothing to sneeze at, and she used her first serve very effectively throughout the set.
Before the set was over, though, Razzano would complain of lower back pain and would call for a trainer. She received treatment and continued play, but was broken by Williams when she served at 4-5, giving Williams the first set.
The second set was a completely different story, with Razzano double-faulting five times, and making errors even when she was handed great opportunities by Williams, whose serve also fell apart toward the end. It was because Williams' serve went to pieces, in fact, that Razzano avoided a second set bagel. Williams took the match, 6-4, 6-2.
Was Razzano's back problem what did her in in the second set? Maybe. Or perhaps it was just exhaustion. Or playing Williams. Or all of the above.
At any rate, Williams has now won her fortieth tour singles title, and is starting the 2009 season very impressively.