Saturday, February 13, 2010

Dementieva and Safarova return to Paris final

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.


Sunny said...

I enjoyed both matches and liked seeing Oudin in her first semi. The only thing that bothered me was the number of times Oudin had her coach come out. I do not like the on-court coaching rule of the WTA. It makes the women seem less like tennis athletes than the men. Another way to lessen them in the eyes of the public and the ATP. Why I was also bothered is that Oudin is young and still developing her game. If she relies on coaching now she will probably always need it because psychologically and technically she may not be able to figure it out on her own. Every time her coach came out, she returned to the match more determined and playing well until she got down again.

Diane said...

I don't like on-court coaching, either. However, I think Melanie will be able to figure it out on her own. In fact, I think she could figure it out on her own now.

Overhead Spin said...

Diane, I have to agree with Sunny on this one. I do not think that a player relying on a coach coming down at such an early stage in her career will help her at all. As a matter of fact I think it is a hindrance in her mental development. One of the things that separates the Williams girls from the rest of the Tour is their absolute reliance on their own abilities to get them out of tough situations. I think I have only see one instance where Serena has used on court coaching and I think she just did it for the publicity factor. The other time she actually named Venus as her coach, so you know neither of them takes this very seriously. Young players need to develop into single minded individuals with the ability to know how to get out of tight situations. During this year's AO watching Azarenka, a player I really like to watch play, shouting at her coach because she could not hear his instructions would have been funny if it was not so pathetic. I think the WTA needs to abandon this project just as how the ATP abandoned round robin play, but then the WTA does not have voices like Roger Federer who are willing to go on the record to voice their displeasure. Which leads me to another thing, why dont the women of the WTA ever come together to protest when the Tour is not treating them well. I have to say that some of the things that I have seen done all in the name of promoting the game leaves a lot to be desired. This thing about turning athletes into sex beings is just so totally wrong and having fans vote for players in an poll is just so belittling to women everywhere. Ugh

Diane said...

I have been against on-court coaching from day one, and I applaud those coaches who speak in the language they think the least television viewers will understand. I'm just saying that I think that Oudin can think for herself, but--repeating Sunny's point--she had better start doing it soon.

And to answer your question about why the women don't come forward to complain about the way the tour treats them: Two words--internalized sexism.