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Page last updated at 14:49 GMT, Wednesday, 4 June 2008 15:49 UK
Roland Garros, Paris, 25 May-8 June

French Open: Sunday 25 May to Sunday 8 June
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French Open

Quarter-final latest:


4-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-0

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By Chris Bevan


Safina 6-0 Dementieva
It's all over. Elena fought to the end but it was a losing battle. Safina sees one match point go astray and Dementieva saves another with a raking return but she hits her next shot long and Safina is through to her first Grand Slam semi-final, where she will play Svetlana Kuznetsova.

"Elena won only one game since she was 5-2 up in the second set but she has tried so hard. Safina has played so well from the baseline and not made hardly any unforced errors - it has been an amazing turnaround."
Sam Smith on BBCi

"I like Safina. I think she is exciting to watch and much more interesting than her brother (Marat). And she has got potential. What more do you want?!"
Marion, in Liverpool via text on 81111

Safina 5-0 Dementieva
A double fault hands Safina a point for 5-0 but Elena manages to raise her game to save it with a thumping winner. The respite doesn't last long though - a backhand into the net puts Safina one game away from victory.

"I am really beginning to love this Safina. In fact, given that Serena sweetheart seems to be fading and at the verge of joining her 'era rival' Henin in life after tennis, I am considering placing my bet now on Safina. She's of the stuff exciting players are made of."
Man-international on 606
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Safina 4-0 Dementieva
Safina has started booming down some big aces now to compound Elena's problems and she is very close to victory now. I've said that a couple of times already today about Dementieva though, so don't read too much into what I think. Some long rallies bring Elena little reward and she has an awful lot to do now. Remember her match point? A long time ago now that.

"Elena is not in this game right now and she will be wondering where all her rhythm and timing from earlier in the match has gone"
Sam Smith on BBCi

Safina 3-0 Dementieva
Elena is close to complete collapse and she cannot find the court with her groundstrokes right now. Safina pushes on to claim her second break of this third set.

"Why are so many folks anti-Safina? Is it just because she's not as pretty to watch if you catch my drift? I think her games have been very entertaining so far, close tense slug-fests. You are always assured of a couple of mental breakdowns, 3 broken rackets, and at the moment some stunning fight backs!"
questionable1 on 606
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Safina 2-0 Dementieva
Both players look tired now but Safina is still talking to herself between points to keep herself ticking over. A bit of a scrap but Elena's forehand is misfiring more often than not at the moment and the seventh seed makes another mistake to allow Safina to hold.

"This is how Safina was looking in the third set against Sharapova - is is as though she cannot miss right now."
Sam Smith on BBCi

Safina 1-0 Dementieva
Safina is picking up at the start of the third set where she left off at the end of the second. More power play and she breaks Elena again - Dementieva played poorly there too.

"Come on Elena, please don't fail me now."
Chris in Farnborough, via text on 81111

1515: Elena has nipped for another bathroom break. She won't be long though.


Safina 7-6 (7-5) Dementieva
This is amazing stuff and we are going to have a third set. Elena looks very tired as Safina opens up a 3-0 lead but finds some more energy from somewhere to fight back to 3-3. Safina is not on the backfoot for long, however, and her power-hitting earns her three more set-points before she finally wraps it up to level the match.

Safina 6-6 Dementieva
Elena's turn to play catch-up tennis for the first time in this set but she is not finding it easy against Safina right now. Safina is attacking at every opportunity now and Dementieva needs to do the same otherwise she is going to get blown away - she still saves three set points though and we are into a tie-break.

Safina 6-5 Dementieva
Some courtside geraniums get an unexpected whack from Safina's racquet as a mistake brings Elena back to 30-all. Dementieva is looking tired, however, and a poor attempt at a drop shot costs her a break point before Safina holds to lead in this second set for the first time.

"I always seem to eat a lot of humble pie in Safina's matches at the French Open - but I did not see this happening when she trailed 2-5 in the second set."
Sam Smith on BBCi

Safina 5-5 Dementieva
Not quite sure how she has managed this but Safina is level. She gives a huge roar when she sees a forehand from Elena land long and she is right back in this second set.

Safina 4-5 Dementieva
Safina possesses that rare Henman-like ability to double fault at the worst possible time and another one of those hands Elena match point. Safina battles on though - not the first time I've said that - and fights back to hold, eventually.

Svetlana Kuznetsova has beaten Kaia Kanepi 7-5 6-2.

Safina 3-5 Dementieva
Hmmm, just when you thought it was all over, Safina ups her game for one final time and a couple of brutal forehands hand her an unexpected break.

Safina 2-5 Dementieva
Both these players make a fair amount of noise on court by the way - Safina is more of a grunter in the Monica Seles mould while Dementieva follows Maria Sharapova's lead in the shriek stakes. The volume has not faltered during this second set either, but Safina's form has - she is broken again and Elena is on the brink of victory.

"Safina has won just three points in the last three games. I cannot see her coming back from this."
Sam Smith on BBCi

Svetlana Kuznetsova is close to sealing her win against Kaia Kanepi too - a set up and leading 5-1 in the second.

Safina 2-4 Dementieva
Hmmm, some wild returns by Safina and all of a sudden it seems her goose is cooked. Elena holds to love and she did not have to work hard for that either.

Safina 2-3 Dementieva
One step forward, two steps back for Safina, who throws her racquet to the ground again after a weak double fault at 30-all. The younger Russian fires her next forehand into the net too - and all that earlier work is undone.

"Safina is just not playing as well as she did against Maria Sharapova - she needs a gear change otherwise Elena will get over the finishing line just by looking solid and unleashing that forehand when she can."
Sam Smith on BBCi

Safina 2-2 Dementieva
Losing that last game would probably have been the end of Safina's challenge but instead she is right back in this one. Some tidy play sets up a break point that she seals when Elena fires a forehand wide...and we are level again.

Safina 1-2 Dementieva
Safina is left to bounce her racquet in frustration as another marginal call goes against her at 30-all but she manages a wry smile after battling on to save four more break points before finally holding her serve for the first time in this set. Phew!

"Safina was fortunate to win that game but desperately needed it after losing the last five in a row."
Sam Smith on BBCi

Svetlana Kuznetsova took that first set 7-5 against Kaia Kanepi. She will play the winner of this match in the semi-final by the way.

Safina 0-2 Dementieva
Safina did come back from a set down to beat Maria Sharapova in the last round and she needs to up her game in similar fashion here. She is trying the odd drop shot to break up the long baseline rallies but is left frustrated here when her latest effort is called marginally out. No problems for Elena as she holds out again.

Svetlana Kuznetsova has just broken Kaia Kanepi and is serving for the set at 6-5.

Safina 0-1 Dementieva
Oh dear, it is all going wrong for Safina right now and she is broken again. She says some choice words to herself in Russian as Elena plucks out a couple of winners down either flank but she needs to find a way of turning this one round.

1355: Elena pops off court for a bathroom break before we start this second set.

"I don't think the black cycling shorts belong to Elena's outfit"
Sam Smith on BBCi


Safina 4-6 Dementieva
Safina is not giving this up without a fight but she is being worn down by Dementieva right now. Three rallies and three mistakes by Safina hand Elena three set points but the younger Russian keeps plugging away and saves two of them. Not the third though, and Elena has the first set in the bag.

Safina 4-5 Dementieva
Not a good time for Safina to wobble but a couple of loose shots hand Elena a break point which she wastes with a wild backhand. Her next shot on that side lands right in the corner, however, and she seals the first break of the match when Safina sends a forehand down the wrong side of the line.

"In the last couple of games Safina's level has dipped and she has started making more unforced errors than her opponent. Elena is finding much more rhythm and timing out here right now."
Sam Smith on BBCi

Svetlana Kuznetsova has just broken back against Kaia Kanepi and their first set is back with serve with Kanepi 4-3 up.

Safina 4-4 Dementieva
Elena's serve is considered one of the worst on the women's tour but, her first double fault aside, it seems to be holding out OK here right now. We are all-square again. "It's not so noticable that Elena's serve is her weakness now - she has worked so hard on it."
Sam Smith on BBCi

Interesting news from around the courts...fourth seed Svetlana Kuznetsova has just been broken in the other women's quarter-final with Kaia Kanepi and the Estonian leads 4-2 in the first set.

Safina 4-3 Dementieva
Safina's serve is back in the zone and a beautifully placed ace means she holds out again. This one could be going the distance, which is not something that has been said too often about a women's match here this year.

Safina 3-3 Dementieva
Some thumping drives mean it is Safina's turn to threaten a break but she sees two chances come and go and Elena responds in kind to hold. Both players have upped the ante now and are going for their shots - most of them are landing the right side of the line too.

Over on Lenglen, Svetlana Kuznetsova's clash with Kaia Kanepi is going with serve - with Kanepi 3-2 up right now.

Safina 3-2 Dementieva
Safina's fierce first serve seems to have gone missing and a wild forehand hands Dementieva a break point. A precise backhand into the corner saves her, however, and her first big serve for a while put her ahead again.

Safina 2-2 Dementieva
Both of these players are big hitters but they make a few mistakes too. Safina's turn for an error or two sees Elena hold out with ease.

Hmmm, not sure what happened to that sun I was talking about a few moments ago...

"Did I hear that well? 'Paris sunshine'? Am in Paris now and it is as dim as anything. Good thing no cricket is played in France: Abundant rain and recurrent bad light. Ouch."
Cambelonimacaroni on 606
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Safina 2-1 Dementieva
Safina certainly packs a punch with that forehand and she is starting to find the corners of the court to good effect too. She is wearing a more traditional white outfit with a blue trim by the way.

"These two for me quite well matched from the baseline. They hang out and train together in Moscow and that can make it quite difficult when they come out on court."
Sam Smith on BBCi

Safina 1-1 Dementieva
A bit easier that for Elena. She is quickly into her stride, holding to love.

Safina 1-0 Dementieva
Dementieva is sporting a hot-pink and black combo, the like of which I haven't seen since Andre Agassi's hey-day. She makes Safina work hard to hold her opening service game too - this pair are already slugging it out from the baseline.

1305: Safina and Dementieva are out on the Philippe Chatrier court knocking up in the Paris sunshine.

1303: The two remaining women's quarter-finals are first up and, after beating Maria Sharapova last time out, Dinara Safina's reward is another tough tie against fellow Russian Elena Dementieva.

I'm going to be concentrating on that clash as well as giving you regular updates on how fourth seed Svetlana Kuznetsova is getting on against Kaia Kanepi too.

1258: Right then. We're going to complete the men's and women's semi-final line-up today with a bit of luck.

see also
Safina sets up Kuznetsova clash
04 Jun 08 |  Tennis
French Open women's live scores
23 May 08 |  Tennis
French Open men's live scores
02 Jun 08 |  Tennis

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