Dementieva Keeps Semi Hopes Alive
DOHA, Qatar - Elena Dementieva wrapped up Day 3 action at the Sony Ericsson Championships - Doha 2008 in winning form, prevailing in an all-Russian affair with Dinara Safina in straight sets. Jelena Jankovic and Venus Williams also recorded victories on Thursday at the season-ending event.
Although both players struggled on serve, with zero aces but 10 double faults (six for Safina, four for Dementieva), it was the No.5-seeded Dementieva who played the cleaner match against the No.2-seeded Safina, keeping her unforced errors down and hanging in the rallies long enough to draw a number of miscues from her countrywoman. She prevailed, 62 64.
"Dinara's a really competitive player, and every time she's on the court she's fighting, so it's never easy to play her," Dementieva said. "Even though I beat her the last time we played at the Olympics, I was expecting a tough match. I never expect an easy match against her. We had a big fight in the second set."
Safina, who has rocketed from outside the Top 10 all the way to the No.2 ranking this year, fell to 0-3 in the round robin stage with the defeat, having also lost to both Williams sisters. It is the end of her tournament, as she has no chance of finishing in the Top 2 of the Maroon Group, a dismal end to a phenomenal year.
Dementieva is still in the running for finishing in the Top 2 of her group. With a 57 61 60 win over her sister earlier in the day, Venus Williams improved to 3-0 and is guaranteed to finish No.1 in the group; like Dementieva, Serena Williams is now 1-1, and the two will square off on Friday to see who will finish at No.2.
The Top 2 in the White Group is already determined. Vera Zvonareva is 2-0 and Jelena Jankovic improved to 2-0 with a 76(6) 64 win over Svetlana Kuznetsova on Thursday, and on Friday the two will square off to determine who will finish No.1 and who will finish No.2. The other players sitting in the White Group, Kuznetsova and Ana Ivanovic, are out of the running for those Top 2 spots.