Serena Williams celebrates defeating Simona Halep in the WTA Cincinnati final on Sunday. Rob Carr / Getty Images / AFP / August 23, 2015
Serena Williams celebrates defeating Simona Halep in the WTA Cincinnati final on Sunday. Rob Carr / Getty Images / AFP / August 23, 2015

Serena Williams sees ‘room for improvement’ even in flawless US Open run-in



Serena Williams continued to work her way up the list of WTA tennis legends, winning her 69th career title with a straight-set win over Simona Halep at the WTA Cincinnati tournament.

The world No 1 claimed her second straight Cincinnati trophy and moved past Aussie legend Evonne Goolagong into fifth place in the all-time WTA win list in the Open Era. Martina Navratilova heads the list with 167 singles crowns.

The 33-year-old American rallied past third seed Halep 6-3, 7-6 (7/5) on Sunday for her fifth title of 2015.

“I think that playing Simona really tested me, and I felt like I was up for the challenge and up for the test,” Williams said.

“I definitely feel there is room for improvement.”

Halep, who handed Williams one of the worst losses of her career at the 2014 WTA Finals in Singapore, will surpass Maria Sharapova as the second ranked player in the world when the new rankings come out Monday.

Williams will be bidding for history at the US Open as she attempts to complete a rare calendar-year grand slam in singles. She came back from an early first-set deficit to take charge against Halep.

Williams is looking forward to the start of the US Open in eight days.

“I prefer to have this pressure than the pressure of not winning,” she said. “Not everyone can handle that pressure, but I’m OK with it. I would rather be in this position than another one.”

Williams went down an early break but reclaimed it and then some to win the opening set. The second was much more combative as Halep held her own from the baseline.

But Williams turned up the heat in the tiebreaker to finish the job in 99 minutes with 15 aces.

Williams now stands 21-4 in Cincinnati as she moves on to New York for training. The American has won all five of her 2015 finals – three grand slams, a Miami title and now Cincinnati.

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Need to know

The flights: Flydubai flies from Dubai to Kilimanjaro airport via Dar es Salaam from Dh1,619 return including taxes. The trip takes 8 hours. 

The trek: Make sure that whatever tour company you select to climb Kilimanjaro, that it is a reputable one. The way to climb successfully would be with experienced guides and porters, from a company committed to quality, safety and an ethical approach to the mountain and its staff. Sonia Nazareth booked a VIP package through Safari Africa. The tour works out to $4,775 (Dh17,538) per person, based on a 4-person booking scheme, for 9 nights on the mountain (including one night before and after the trek at Arusha). The price includes all meals, a head guide, an assistant guide for every 2 trekkers, porters to carry the luggage, a cook and kitchen staff, a dining and mess tent, a sleeping tent set up for 2 persons, a chemical toilet and park entrance fees. The tiny ration of heated water provided for our bath in our makeshift private bathroom stall was the greatest luxury. A standard package, also based on a 4-person booking, works out to $3,050 (Dh11,202) per person.

When to go: You can climb Kili at any time of year, but the best months to ascend  are  January-February and September-October.  Also good are July and August, if you’re tolerant of the colder weather that winter brings.

Do not underestimate the importance of kit. Even if you’re travelling at a relatively pleasant time, be geared up for the cold and the rain.

The burning issue

The internal combustion engine is facing a watershed moment – major manufacturer Volvo is to stop producing petroleum-powered vehicles by 2021 and countries in Europe, including the UK, have vowed to ban their sale before 2040. The National takes a look at the story of one of the most successful technologies of the last 100 years and how it has impacted life in the UAE.

Part three: an affection for classic cars lives on

Read part two: how climate change drove the race for an alternative 

Read part one: how cars came to the UAE

The specs

Engine: 2.3-litre turbo 4-cyl
Transmission: 10-speed auto
Power: 298hp
Torque: 452Nm
Towing capacity: 3.4-tonne
Payload: 4WD – 776kg; Rear-wheel drive 819kg
Price: Price: Dh138,945 (XLT) Dh193,095 (Wildtrak)
Delivery: from August

Scores

Oman 109-3 in 18.4 overs (Aqib Ilyas 45 not out, Aamir Kaleem 27) beat UAE 108-9 in 20 overs (Usman 27, Mustafa 24, Fayyaz 3-16, Bilal 3-23)

Company Profile

Company name: myZoi
Started: 2021
Founders: Syed Ali, Christian Buchholz, Shanawaz Rouf, Arsalan Siddiqui, Nabid Hassan
Based: UAE
Number of staff: 37
Investment: Initial undisclosed funding from SC Ventures; second round of funding totalling $14 million from a consortium of SBI, a Japanese VC firm, and SC Venture

SCORES

Yorkshire Vikings 144-1 in 12.5 overs
(Tom Kohler 72 not out, Harry Broook 42 not out)
bt Hobart Hurricanes 140-7 in 20 overs
(Caleb Jewell 38, Sean Willis 35, Karl Carver 2-29, Josh Shaw 2-39)

Five expert hiking tips
  • Always check the weather forecast before setting off
  • Make sure you have plenty of water
  • Set off early to avoid sudden weather changes in the afternoon
  • Wear appropriate clothing and footwear
  • Take your litter home with you
The Farewell

Director: Lulu Wang

Stars: Awkwafina, Zhao Shuzhen, Diana Lin, Tzi Ma

Four stars

The specs

Engine: Dual synchronous electric motors
Power: 646hp
Torque: 830Nm
Transmission: Two-speed auto (rear axle); single-speed auto (front)
Price: From Dh552,311; Dh660,408 (as tested)
On sale: now

As You Were

Liam Gallagher

(Warner Bros)

Our legal columnist

Name: Yousef Al Bahar

Advocate at Al Bahar & Associate Advocates and Legal Consultants, established in 1994

Education: Mr Al Bahar was born in 1979 and graduated in 2008 from the Judicial Institute. He took after his father, who was one of the first Emirati lawyers

SPECS

Engine: 2.4-litre 4-cylinder turbo hybrid
Power: 366hp
Torque: 550Nm
Transmission: Six-speed auto
Price: From Dh360,000
Available: Now

The team

Videographer: Jear Velasquez 

Photography: Romeo Perez 

Fashion director: Sarah Maisey 

Make-up: Gulum Erzincan at Art Factory 

Models: Meti and Clinton at MMG 

Video assistant: Zanong Maget 

Social media: Fatima Al Mahmoud  

The specs

Engine: 1.8-litre 4-cyl turbo
Power: 190hp at 5,200rpm
Torque: 320Nm from 1,800-5,000rpm
Transmission: Seven-speed dual-clutch auto
Fuel consumption: 6.7L/100km
Price: From Dh111,195
On sale: Now

T20 SQUADS

Australia: Aaron Finch (c), Mitchell Marsh, Alex Carey, Ashton Agar, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Chris Lynn, Nathan Lyon, Glenn Maxwell, Ben McDermott, D’Arcy Short, Billy Stanlake, Mitchell Starc, Andrew Tye, Adam Zampa.

Pakistan: Sarfraz Ahmed (c), Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Hafeez, Sahibzada Farhan, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Asif Ali, Hussain Talat, Shadab Khan, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Usman Khan Shinwari, Hassan Ali, Imad Wasim, Waqas Maqsood, Faheem Ashraf.

The Genius of Their Age

Author: S Frederick Starr
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Pages: 290
Available: January 24

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: Lamsa

Founder: Badr Ward

Launched: 2014

Employees: 60

Based: Abu Dhabi

Sector: EdTech

Funding to date: $15 million

MATCH INFO

Manchester United 1 (Fernandes pen 2') Tottenham Hotspur 6 (Ndombele 4', Son 7' & 37' Kane (30' & pen 79, Aurier 51')

Man of the match Son Heung-min (Tottenham)

SPECS

Engine: 4-litre V8 twin-turbo
Power: 630hp
Torque: 850Nm
Transmission: 8-speed Tiptronic automatic
Price: From Dh599,000
On sale: Now

EMIRATES'S REVISED A350 DEPLOYMENT SCHEDULE

Edinburgh: November 4 (unchanged)

Bahrain: November 15 (from September 15); second daily service from January 1

Kuwait: November 15 (from September 16)

Mumbai: January 1 (from October 27)

Ahmedabad: January 1 (from October 27)

Colombo: January 2 (from January 1)

Muscat: March 1 (from December 1)

Lyon: March 1 (from December 1)

Bologna: March 1 (from December 1)

Source: Emirates

UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
The Specs

Engine: 1.6-litre 4-cylinder petrol
Power: 118hp
Torque: 149Nm
Transmission: Six-speed automatic
Price: From Dh61,500
On sale: Now

The specs: 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk


Price, base: Dh399,999
Engine: Supercharged 6.2-litre V8
Gearbox: Eight-speed automatic
Power: 707hp @ 6,000rpm
Torque: 875Nm @ 4,800rpm
Fuel economy, combined: 16.8L / 100km (estimate)


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