Dementieva denies Sharapova in Toronto final

Sun Aug 23, 2009 6:19pm EDT
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By Steve Keating

TORONTO (Reuters) - Russian fourth seed Elena Dementieva picked up her third title of the year and denied compatriot Maria Sharapova a comeback win with a 6-4 6-3 victory in the final of the Toronto Cup Sunday.

Dementieva's victory was just the third in nine meetings against Sharapova, who was playing for a title for the first time since Amelia Island in April 2008 as she continued her return from shoulder surgery.

It is the 14th career title for Dementieva and comes with a good omen, the three past winners of the Toronto tournament going on to capture the U.S. Open.

"I felt like Lleyton Hewitt today, I was fighting for every point, so many long rallies, it's not the game I like to play," Dementieva told reporters. "I was just waiting for my chances and didn't rush.

"This kind of win gives you a lot of confidence, so right now it is all about recovery and getting ready for New York."

Working her way back to top form after nine months on the sidelines, Sharapova has made steady progress since she launched her comeback in May.

But the three-time grand slam winner showed in an uneven final that her game still needs sharpening as she served up nine double faults to Dementieva in the opening set.

Despite her service woes, Sharapova heads to Flushing Meadows on an upbeat note. She is guaranteed to be seeded at the U.S. Open, moving up from her current 49th ranking into the top 32 by reaching the Toronto final.   Continued...

<p>Elena Dementieva of Russia celebrates after defeating compatriot Maria Sharapova to win the final match at the Rogers Cup tennis tournament in Toronto, August 23, 2009. REUTERS/Peter Jones</p>