August 23, 2009

By the Way...

Let me not forget to pay tribute to Elena Dementieva who was finally able to elevate herself from "bridesmaid" status earlier today when she won her third title of the year.

After gaining sweet, sweet revenge against Serena Williams in yesterday's semifinal match -- one in which she steamrolled over the reigning Wimbledon, Australian and U.S. Open champion in the second set -- she took on Maria Sharapova, who'd reached her first final since she took the title in Amelia Island last year.

The two had played ten times before, with Maria holding a decisive 8-2 advantage. Today both she and Dementieva started sloppily on serve. There were seven breaks in the first set, with Elena getting the key one for a 6-4 lead. She kept her cool in the second set, notching for herself the only break to take home her fourteenth championship -- a win that, if I did my math right, should get her back to #3 in the world.

Whether Dementieva will be able to translate her victory into a solid performance in New York is still a question. I worry about how often she can be broken, but the fact that she can power through opponents like Williams and Sharapova, both former #1s themselves, sure argues that maybe a strong serve isn't the most important thing in tennis. With the innate power and smarts she does possess, I don't think anyone would want to see her in their portion of the draw.

And I'm looking for her to go far, and hopefully end the year the same way she started it!

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