Dementieva closes in on first title

Updated: 25 February 2007 08:48 IST

Elena Dementieva of Russia ended top-seeded Belgian Justine Henin-Hardenne's seven-match winning streak on Saturday with a 3-6, 6-4, 7-5 victory in the semifina

Dementieva closes in on first title

Florida: Elena Dementieva of Russia ended top-seeded Belgian Justine Henin-Hardenne's seven-match winning streak on Saturday with a 3-6, 6-4, 7-5 victory in the semifinals of the Bausch & Lomb Championships. After her first win in four tries against Henin-Hardenne, the 10th-seeded Dementieva moved into the fifth final of her five-year professional career, including the 2000 Olympics. In the final on Sunday, she will play second-seeded Lindsay Davenport, who defeated Jennifer Capriati 6-3, 5-7, 6-2. "I'll go walking on the beach tonight - nothing really different," Dementieva said when asked if she'll change her routine in preparation for the final. Davenport, with a 6-2 lifetime record against Dementieva, came into the semifinals having lost just five games in three matches in the tournament. Her win over Capriati was, understandably, more difficult, but she is still playing some of her best tennis since coming back from knee surgery that sidelined her through the first half of 2002. "I've never seen her play this well before," Capriati said. Capriati was supposed to have an edge because she's an expert on clay and Davenport is not. But it was Davenport who dictated in this match, and Capriati who had trouble setting up to hit solid groundstrokes. "I'm playing at a really high level," said Davenport, who won here in 1997. "It's impossible to compare where I am to where I was two years ago or five years ago, but I feel I'm playing well." Like Davenport, Dementieva also had it tougher Saturday than in the quarterfinals, when she won an amazingly easy 6-0, 6-1 match over fourth-seeded Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia. (AP)
Topics : Tennis
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