Australian Open Ambience 2021

Dementieva completes perfect preparations


The final of the Medibank International in Sydney produced a second title in as many weeks for top-seeded Russian Elena Dementieva.

Although Dementieva seemed slightly unsteady in the middle set, the 27-year-old recovered in the third and coasted to a three-set victory over second seed Dinara Safina 6-3, 2-6, 6-1.

The semi-finals were perhaps indicative of what was to come as Safina only struggled past Ai Sugiyama 6-4, 7-6, while Dementieva thrashed Serena Williams 6-3, 6-1.

Prior to the final, Safina led their head-to-head stats 5-4, however, previous triumphs against the top seed have all been on either clay or grass. Dementieva had won every one of their contests on hard courts – Sydneys surface of choice.

At the Moorilla Hobart International, in the first all-Czech final since June 2005 at ‘s-Hertogenbosch, Petra Kvitova defeated Iveta Benesova in straight sets to bag her first Sony Ericsson WTA Tour title.

Unseeded champions are not rare on the WTA Tour; Hobart is no exception, with all the top eight seeds bowing out before the quarter-finals.

Eighteen-year-old Kvitova had a shaky run to the final – she was only a few points away from falling in the quarter-finals where she had to restore a 6-1, 5-2 deficit to prevail over Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.

“It was very windy and cold, and when she came back to make it 5-5 in the first set I was very nervous,” Kvitova said.

“Then I started focusing on every point and I started playing well again. The second set was much quicker. I’m very, very happy. I really like it here, so it’s exciting for me to win my first title here.”

The Bondarenko sisters, Alona and Kateryna, fell at the last hurdle to unseeded pair Flavia Pennetta and Gisela Dulko in the doubles final.

Australian Open Ambience 2021
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