Saturday, May 10, 2008

All-Russian final to be played in Berlin

Dinara Safina defeated an injured Victoria Azarenka, and Elena Dementieva defeated defending champion Ana Ivanovic in today's Qatar Telecom German Open semifinals. From what I have heard, Azarenka began cramping some time in the second set. She and partner Shahar Peer later retired during the first set of their doubles match.

Those who have been paying attention will not be surprised to see Dementieva in another final, but few were expecting to see Safina in this final. She was in the final of another Tier I tournament last year, in Charleston, but she had great difficulty playing in the high winds that followed the tornadoes that struck in the Charleston area. Her opponent, Jelena Jankovic, handled the winds expertly and won easily. Safina was also a finalist in Rome in 2006.

Dementieva has yet to lose to Ivanovic. She and Safina have played four times, but in one of those contests (Berlin, 2004), Safina had to retire. Dementieva won two of the others, but lost their only other clay match, which was played in Rome in 2006.

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