Dementieva digs deep to claim gold in Beijing
Elena Dementieva came back from a set down to beat Dinara Safina and claim the Olympic women’s tennis title, going one better than her silver-medal performance at the Sydney Olympics.
Safina took the first set comfortably and looked to be on her way to gold, but her compatriot rallied to win 3-6 7-5 6-3.
Dementieva’s victory completes Russia’s podium sweep in the women’s event.
Vera Zvonareva had earlier beaten Li Na to claim bronze, ensuring the first clean sweep in any tennis event in a century, when Great Britain collected all three women’s singles medals.
In an engaging and often gruelling final, Dementieva overcame a nervy, error-strewn first set performance to claw her way back into the match.
Safina had won all three of the pair’s previous meetings and entered the match on a 15-match winning streak, but had no answer for Dementieva’s fightback.
And despite dropping a break advantage in the final set, the world No.7 served uncharacteristically solidly to take the title.
Earlier, Vera Zvonareva, a late call-up for the injured Maria Sharapova, cruised to the bronze medal against Li 6-0 7-5.
In the women’s doubles, Sydney Olympic champions Serena and Venus Williams won their second doubles golds with a dominant 6-2 6-0 victory over Spain’s Anabel Medina Garrigues and Virginia Ruano Pascual.
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