Elena Beats Serena, Wins Sydney
Published January 15, 2010 12:00
SYDNEY, Australia - She was perfect in Sydney last year and perfect there this year. Elena Dementieva won her second straight title at the Medibank International Sydney Friday night, beating Serena Williams in the final.
Dementieva, who went 5-0 to win the Premier-level title last year, did it all over again this year, dropping just one set - to Daniela Hantuchova in the second round - and having back-to-back-to-back straight set wins over fellow Top 10 players from the quarterfinals on, first Dinara Safina, then Victoria Azarenka and Williams. It took her 75 minutes to beat Williams, 63 62, her fifth win over the No.1 in their last eight duels. Highlights: Dementieva vs. S.Williams
"I'm very satisfied with the way I was playing today and the whole week. That's what I was really looking for coming here, playing aggressively and trying to put a lot of pressure on my opponents," Dementieva said. "It's great to play against the best players in the world, especially going into a Grand Slam. It was a great experience and it'll help me next week at the Australian Open."
Dementieva collected her 15th Sony Ericsson WTA Tour singles title.
Earlier in the day, Dementieva was dealt arguably the toughest draw for the year's first major at the Australian Open. Justine Henin, unranked and a wildcard into the draw, was the name everyone would be looking for in their bracket; she could be Dementieva's second round opponent.
"First of all, I have to win my first round, and she has to win hers. But for now I just want to enjoy the moment of winning Sydney, take a day off and get ready for Melbourne," Dementieva said. "I feel I had some great preparation here and I want to keep the good form for next week." Interview: Elena Dementieva
"She played well, and I made about 1,002 unforced errors," said Williams, who is now 35-14 lifetime in finals. "I feel I have enough matches under my belt though. Even though I didn't play great today, I feel like I can play much better."
World No.1 doubles players Cara Black and Liezel Huber fared better than their singles counterpart, continuing their perfect start to the season with a 61 36 103 match tie-break win in the final over Tathiana Garbin and Nadia Petrova. Black and Huber went 4-0 to win Auckland last week and 4-0 to win Sydney this week; this was their 29th title together on the Tour.
"We're really excited and pumped up about winning our first two tournaments of the year," Black said. "Now we're just looking forward to going to the Australian Open because we can't ask for any better preparation. We'll have the day off tomorrow and enjoy the win. I think we'll do a bit of shopping and relax."