Dementieva maddens Williams with fine comeback
Elena Dementieva gave herself an early birthday present when she beat Serena Williams 5-7, 6-1, 6-1 to win the Kremlin Cup yesterday. Nikolay Davydenko beat France's Paul-Henri Mathieu 7-5, 7-6 in the men's final to retain his title and complete a Russian double.
Dementieva, 26 today, played strongly after losing the first set, breaking the American three times in each of the next two sets for a first win over the former world No 1. The 14th-ranked Russian had not won a set off Williams in four previous meetings.
The players traded breaks in the first set before Williams broke to love in the 12th game. Dementieva, a Muscovite seeking a first title on home soil in her 11th Kremlin Cup, and after losing finals here in 2001 and 2004, came out fighting in the second set. Urged on by a 10,000-strong crowd, she broke the world No 7 three times to win the second set in just 24 minutes, before repeating the feat in the decider.
Dementieva took the $182,000 (£89,400) first prize on her second opportunity when Williams's forehand sailed wide.
"It's a great victory for me," she said, considering her eighth career title. "This has been one of my favourite tournaments and playing at home in front of my fans, finally I was able to do it. It is a very important win for me and my whole career.
"She just played really unbelievable, she should play like that more often," said Williams, who was making a second visit to Moscow 10 years after her debut, when she lost in the first round as a 16-year-old.
"I'm not going to make excuses for myself. I played terrible. I had a feeling that almost every shot I hit, it was out," added the Australian Open champion, who committed 59 unforced errors to her opponent's 31.
Davydenko, who called for a medical time-out late in the second set to treat his right wrist, needed four match points to finish off the fourth-seeded Frenchman for his third victory in Moscow in four years.
* In Stockholm, the Croatian Ivo Karlovic blasted 27 aces past Sweden's Thomas Johansson to win the final of the Stockholm Open 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 yesterday, taking his third title of the year on a third surface.
Perth midfielder Ruben Zadkovich sent off 17 seconds after coming on against Wellington
England vs Samoa match report: England finally end losing streak as Jonny May stars in unspectacular win ahead of Wallabies showdown
Manchester United transfer news: Robin van Persie could leave this summer with Edinson Cavani and Thomas Muller on United wish-list
Arsenal vs Manchester United match report: Wayne Rooney and a Keiran Gibbs own goal make Gunners rue missed chances
Arsenal vs Manchester United player ratings: Who was the star man? Jack Wilshere, Wayne Rooney, Kieran Gibbs or David de Gea?
- 3 Woman opens professional cuddling shop – gets 10,000 customers in first week
- 4 Grayson Perry: London needs affordable housing because 'rich people don't create culture'
- 5 Kenya bus attack: Al-Shabaab militants slaughter 28 non-Muslims who failed to recite Koran
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
France 'blocks' Russian sailors from boarding a warship
Revealed: How the world gets rich – from privatising British public services
Myleene Klass: Ed Miliband 'strikes back' by comparing UK's need for Labour's mansion tax to Hear'Say track