Elena Dementieva had a fairly easy time of it against Serena Williams in Toronto today, once she got the opening set tiebreak out of the way. Dementieva dominated that tiebreak, and never looked back. Williams just went away, and Dementieva got a ticket to the final with a 7-6, 6-1 victory.
Much more entertaining was the second semifinal, featuring Maria Sharapova and Alisa Kleybanova. During the first set, Kleybanova looked as flat and tired as one might expect, given last night's 3-hour+ thriller. Sharapova took that set 6-2, but Kleybanova came out fighting in the next set; more important, her serve returned. She went up 3-0, then 4-1, but Sharapova caught up, and even had an opportunity to break at 4-all. But Kleybanova held, then broke to take the set. Her level dropped in the last set, however, and Sharapova's rose. Kleybanova's game fell apart at 4-all this time, and Sharapova walked away with a 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 victory.
Some observations about this match:
Kleybanova moves around the court far better than one would think. I was reminded of Marion Bartoli, who moves deceptively well.
Sharapova knows how to play some fine defensive tennis.
Double-faulting is still the order of the day (a total of 21 in this match).
Kleybanova is one tough cookie.
I enjoyed this match a lot, though not as much as the Kleybanova-Jankovic contest, which I found enthralling, despite the fact that JJ lost.