Last year, defending champion Elena Dementieva defeated Serena Williams in the semifinals at the Medibank International Sydney. This time around the two battled each other in the finals. Once again, Dementieva beat the world number one 6-3,6-2 to capture the trophy.
As a result of a wayward dropshot from Serena, Dementieva had double break point. When Williams’ forehand traveled wide, Dementieva took a 2-1 lead. Although Serena broke right back, later, because of a multitude of errors she lost control of a 40-15 game permitting Elena go back in front 4-3. After Dementieva had no trouble consolidating, she forced Serena into two backhand errors for double set point. Elena converted with a backhand down the line winner.
In the opening game of the second set, after shaking off a couple of double faults to hold serve, Dementieva pressured Serena with defense. After Elena erased a few game points by Serena, she manufactured a string of break points. Dementieva cashed in when Williams netted a backhand shot. Subsequent to Dementieva sprinting to a 3-0 advantage, Williams, somewhat hampered by a left knee problem, rubbed away a break point to finally get on the board. However, Serena’s play continued to deteriorate. Serving to stay in the match at 2-5, Serena made three straight unforced errors gifting Dementieva triple championship point. The next point, Elena obliged by hitting a backhand crosscourt return winner.
Williams did not look in optimum form this week. In the semifinals, Serena was four points from being ousted by Aravane Rezai. On the other hand, for the second season in a row, Dementieva has roared out of the gates. In the quarters, Dementieva leveled Dinara Safina and duplicated that result in the semis against Victoria Azarenka. Following such a great tournament, in Dementieva’s case, the usual conundrum is whether she can replicate her performance in Melbourne to ultimately grasp that elusive major.