Olympic gold medalist Elena Dementieva scored her ninth successive win, beating top seed Serena Williams in the semifinals of the Medibank International Sydney. In the final, the in-form Russian will meet another Russian, Dinara Safina, who advanced with a victory over Ai Sugiyama.
Safina, the second seed, was the first of the two to advance to the final, seeing off the Japanese veteran 6-4 7-6(3). This first semifinal was more competitive than the following one, as Safina won a tight opening set and had to come back from a break down in the second set to make it past Sugiyama.
The third-seeded Dementieva, who has already won one title in 2009, beat Williams 6-3 6-1 in just 68 minutes. After losing their first four encounters in straight sets, Dementieva has now won three in a row. Just a small addition, remember that Williams had saved multiple match points in two of her matches earlier in the week.
Dementieva and Safina have played nine times so far, with Safina leading the series 5-4. However, all five of her wins have come on clay or grass, while all four of Dementieva’s have come on hardcourt, the surface of the Medibank International Sydney.