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Page last updated at 12:34 GMT, Friday, 15 January 2010

Dementieva wins Sydney title as Serena Williams suffers

AUSTRALIAN OPEN
Venue: Melbourne Park Date: 18-31 January
Coverage: Every Andy Murray match live on BBC 1 or 2
Daily from 0830 GMT: live on BBC Red Button/website, 5 Live sports extra
Daily from 0000 GMT: text commentary on BBC Sport website


Elena Dementieva
Dementieva had beaten Victoria Azarenka to make the final

Russia's Elena Dementieva took advantage of a struggling Serena Williams to secure the Sydney International title with a 6-3 6-2 win.

Williams, who was troubled by a sore left knee, succumbed to a fifth career defeat by Dementieva in 75 minutes.

"I was struggling a little bit, but she definitely deserves all the credit for what she did," said Williams.

Marcos Baghdatis will play France's Richard Gasquet in the men's final after overcoming Mardy Fish.

Williams' underwhelming performance came to an end as Dementieva converted the first of three match points on the American's serve with a thumping return winner.

606: DEBATE

Dementieva becomes the first player to successfully defend the title since Martina Hingis in 2002.

"I was expecting a tough match and even though the score was 6-3 6-2 it didn't show how tense it was out on the court," she said.

"When it comes to the Grand Slam, it's going to be a new challenge and I have to be ready and recover from this week and be ready from the first round."

Top-seeded Williams played down concerns that the injury may hinder her in her Australian Open opener against Urszula Radwanska.

"It's definitely not ligament problems. It's just a little pain but the strapping usually helps the pain go away," she said.

"I haven't played for two months on a competitive level, so I think it's good for my body to go through this now."

Cypriot Baghdatis, ranked 42nd in the world, converted his fourth match point to seal a hard-earned 6-4 6-7 (7-9) 7-6 (7-5) semi-final win in just under three hours.

Baghdatis could have booked his eighth career final appearance earlier, but Fish saved a match point in the second set to ensure a decider.

Gasquet was granted the final point of a 6-3 7-5 win over fellow countryman Julien Benneteau after the Hawk Eye review system showed the ball was clipping the line.

"I was very lucky with this point for sure," said Gasquet.

"Otherwise it could have gone to a tie-break and you never know. It was better to win with this shot."



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see also
Serena powers into Sydney semis
13 Jan 10 |  Tennis
Serena & Safina win 2010 openers
12 Jan 10 |  Tennis
Injured Henin out of Open warm-up
10 Jan 10 |  Tennis


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