Williams through to final
Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:16
The American second seed is chasing her 10th grand slam title and fourth Australian Open crown and will play either Dinara Safina or Vera Zvonareva in the final on Saturday.
Dementieva was as much the cause of her downfall as Williams was. The Russian fourth seed served eight double faults, hit 28 unforced errors and just 18 winners compared to 27 winners from her opponent, who also fired down 10 aces.
Dementieva, playing in her first semi-final at the Australian Open and still looking for a maiden grand slam title, also became increasingly frustrated with herself, screaming when she made mistakes and berating herself, while at the other end Williams remained as cool as could be and took her opportunities when they came.
Both players struggled with their serve at times. Williams put herself under pressure in the first set by getting just 45 percent of her first serves in, although she won the point 94 percent of the time, while double faults by Dementieva in the second set cost her a break of serve from which she never recovered.
The opening two games were prolonged. Williams staved off a break point on two separate occasions in a game that went to deuce four times. The second game followed a similar pattern with Dementieva saving two break points before taking another four attempts to close it out.
From there the set went with serve until the eighth game when a backhand that flew well wide gave Williams a 5-3 lead and from there she served out the set.
The momentum swung to and fro in the second set with Dementieva having to save a couple of break points in her first game before an ace and then a netted backhand by Williams helped her on her way. She then broke Williams and held again for a 3-0 lead but it was short-lived as Williams cruised through her next service game then benefited from Dementieva’s case of the yips before comfortably holding again as the Russian’s frustrations became more and more apparent to lock it up 3-3.
Williams was back in front with another break of serve when Dementieva found the net again but the fourth seed broke back immediately to keep her hopes alive.
However, Williams, a nine-time grand slam champion, snuffed them out in the very next service game, yelling in delight when a sweetly struck backhand winner to the corner put her 5-4 up with her serve to come. An ace brought up match point before she smashed the match-winner into the open court.