TORONTO (Reuters) - Russian Elena Dementieva reached the Toronto Cup final with a clinical 7-6 6-1 win over world number two Serena Williams on Saturday to avenge a pair of grand slam defeats by the American.
Williams, who dashed Dementieva’s dreams on her way to winning this year’s Australian Open and Wimbledon titles, was swept off the court by the fourth seed.
Dementieva’s victory guarantees an all-Russian final with compatriots Maria Sharapova and Alisa Kleybanova meeting later on Saturday in the other semi-final.
”I was really waiting for this match after Wimbledon,“ Dementieva told reporters. ”It’s always interesting to play Serena, especially looking for revenge after Wimbledon.
”No matter if I‘m playing a grand slam or another tournament I‘m expecting a tough match against her.
“I realize I have to play my best or I‘m going to be out.”
The match produced little of the drama seen in their memorable Wimbledon semi-final, which Williams won after an 8-6 third-set thriller.
Second seed Williams, who had faced only one break point all week, was broken three times in the opening set, which was won 7-2 in a tiebreak by Dementieva.
In a stunning collapse, Williams was 5-3 up and serving for the first set but only held her serve once more in the match.
The Russian, who beat Williams for Olympic gold on the Beijing hardcourts a year ago, raced into a 3-0 lead in the second and never looked back as she won convincingly.
”I probably should have won but I didn‘t,“ said Williams. ”I can’t say I was especially feeling the fire, the burn, but obviously I wanted to do well.
“I really hope to have another go at her at the U.S. Open because I learned a lot from today’s match.”
Editing by Ken Ferris