Venus Williams tastes her first defeat since 2005

DUBAI, 19th February, 2015 (WAM) — Defending champion Venus Williams was beaten 6-4 6-2 by Lucie Safarova in the third round of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on Wednesday.

It was her first defeat here since 2005 and ended her winning streak in Dubai at 16 matches, still a record for any player in the WTA event.

On a day of great drama, second seed and Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, fourth seed Ana Ivanovic, number five seed Agnieszka Radwanska and seventh seed Angelique Kerber also failed to reach the quarter-finals.

There were victories, though, for top seed Simona Halep who defeated Tsvetana Pironkova 6-4 6-3, and third seed Caroline Wozniacki overcame 2014 finalist Alize Cornet 6-4 6-0. Australian and US Open Open semi-finalist Ekaterina Makarova also aanced, beating Zarina Diyas 6-3 6-4.