Two high-quality semifinal matches in Paris produced two Open GDF SUEZ finalists today. 2007 finalist Lucie Safarova defeated 2nd seed Flavia Pennetta 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, and top seed Elena Dementieva defeated Melanie Oudin 4-6, 6-3, 6-3. Dementieva said the match was "probably the most difficult win of the year for me."
Oudin was unable to close the first set at 5-3 on her own serve, but broke Dementieva at 15 in the Russian's next service game. Oudin was using her backhand more effectively than usual, and was able to frustrate the first seed at almost every turn. In the second set, Dmentieva put more pressure on Oudin, and was rewarded with a 6-4 win. The last set saw an exchange of breaks until Dementieva was able to hold for 4-2. At that point, Oudin, producing a significant mis-hit, missed an opportunity to get a break point. It turned out to be her last such opportunity, and Dementieva took the set 6-3, winning on her second match point.
Dementieva was the finalist last year, losing to Amelie Mauresmo. In 2007, Safarova lost to Nadia Petrova in the final.
Safarova is now 2-0 against Pennetta.
Top seeds Cara Black and Liezel Huber will play 2nd seeds Iveta Benesova and Barbora Zahlavova Strycova in the doubles final.