Dementieva downs injury-hit Serena in Sydney


Originally published on: 26/02/10 11:52

Inflicting the kind of defeat Serena Williams so often achieves as a matter of routine, Elena Dementieva gave the world No.1 a taste of her own medicine in Sydney on Friday.

The leggy Russian crushed Williams 6-3, 6-2 in an hour and 15 minutes to ensure the defence of her Medibank International title.

With an unenviable second-round tie with former World No.1 Justine Henin in the offing at next weeks Australian Open, Dementieva showed her class to avenge a similarly thumping defeat in her last meeting with the 11-time Grand Slam champion.

Williams never looked close to a repeat of the straights sets victory she earned during the pairs last contest- at Dohas Sony Ericsson Championships. Instead, the 28-year-old appeared inconvenienced by her heavily strapped left leg, and was unusually subdued throughout the course of the final.

So much so that she went down with a whimper at the match’s end. Having lost her serve on five occasions leading up to the final game, William’s failed to register a point on serve in the deciding game of the match.

Dementieva ensured her 13th WTA Tour victory with a fifth break, denying Williams a title she has yet to win after three losing semi-final appearances at the tournament.

I was struggling a little bit, but I hate to make any excuse. I think she definitely deserves all the credit for what she did. – Serena

But of greater concern for Williams will be a series of niggling injuries picked up during the Sydney final. On top of her minor knee injury, she also had her right hamstring heavily iced after the match, with additional strapping on her left ankle during it.

Though clearly unable to compete at her best, the Aussie Opens top seed praised Dementieva for her display.

I was struggling a little bit, but I hate to make any excuse. I think she definitely deserves all the credit for what she did, Williams said of the world No.5.

She also played down her injury.

Its just a little pain here (in the knee) and the strapping usually helps the pain go away sometimes, Williams said.

Its definitely not ligament problems. Definitely not.”

Aiming to defend her Australian Open title and notch up a fifth victory in Melbourne, Williams remains confident ahead of the first slam of the year.

I feel great. I feel like I have more than enough matches under my belt. I feel like Im really ready and fit.


Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.