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Page last updated at 13:37 GMT, Thursday, 3 June 2010 14:37 UK

Dementieva quits French Open semi

French Open
Venue: Roland Garros, Paris Date: 23 May-6 June
Coverage:
Live video streamed from 1000 BST on BBC Sport website (UK only) and BBC red button; commentary on BBC 5 live sports extra; also live on Eurosport; text commentary on BBC Sport website Details of BBC coverage

Elena Dementieva

Highlights - Dementieva pulls out of semi

By Piers Newbery
BBC Sport at Roland Garros

Francesca Schiavone became the first Italian woman to reach a Grand Slam final after Elena Dementieva pulled out of their French Open semi-final with an injury.

Schiavone had just taken first set tie-break to lead 7-6 (7-3) on Court Philippe Chatrier when the Russian called it quits, and the 17th seed will play Jelena Jankovic or Sam Stosur in Saturday's final.

"I'm very happy, I'm starting to feel like this is really history," said Schiavone. "They are very happy in Italy also, I think, and it's a time for everybody to enjoy."

It was very painful to walk - I was trying fight as it's a very special moment, but I couldn't go on any longer than I did

Elena Dementieva

The 29-year-old Italian's obvious joy at reaching such a landmark was in stark contrast to her opponent, who saw yet another chance to win a first Grand Slam title disappear.

Dementieva, the 2004 runner-up, had said after her quarter-final win that she was struggling with a calf injury and she confirmed that a torn calf muscle was the reason for her semi-final withdrawal.

"It was difficult to even walk," she said. "I got it after my second match and aggravated it today. It was a sharp pain, a bit too much, I couldn't really move on court.

"It was very painful to walk - I was trying to play, trying to fight as it's a very special moment. But I couldn't go on any longer than I did.

I didn't know she was pulling out. I hope now she's good. I spoke with her and I hope she can come back good at Wimbledon.

Francesca Schiavone

"I was very close to stopping my third round match but won and then had a day off when I didn't practice at all so it got better. Playing on clay makes it worse and today aggravated it."

Dementieva struggled to hold back the tears during the tie-break, which Schiavone took thanks to a run of six points in a row before the Russian approached the umpire and called it a day without asking for the trainer.

It brought a sad end to her ninth Grand Slam semi-final and ended her hopes of making a major final for the first time since the 2004 US Open.

Schiavone had dominated the 69 minutes of the match but had to recover from a break down when Dementieva converted her only break point of the day with a forehand winner to lead 4-3.

The Italian, who had already seen three break points slip by, took her fourth in the following game to level and dominated the tie-break from 2-0 down, thanks in part to a poor Dementieva drop shot and a backhand error at 3-2.

606: DEBATE

Returning to serve at set point down, an emotional Dementieva paused at the baseline and pulled her visor over her eyes, and moments later her tournament was over.

"I didn't know she was pulling out," admitted Schiavone. "I knew that she was injured somehow but I didn't ask because the most important thing was to keep going with my play. I hope now she's good. I spoke with her and I hope she can come back good at Wimbledon."

Dementieva confirmed after the match she will withdraw from the Aegon Internationa in Eastbourne bceause of the injury and added she is "not sure" about Wimbledon.

And asked why she chose not to call for the trainer before retiring, the Russian added: "I have seen the trainer for so many hours before the matches every day, so I don't think there would be something else that can really help me.

"I did my best. I did everything I could, but unfortunately it didn't work this time."



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see also
French Open day 12 as it happened
03 Jun 10 |  Tennis
French Open day 12 photos
03 Jun 10 |  Tennis
Stosur reaches French Open final
03 Jun 10 |  Tennis
Grand Slam men's singles latest
21 May 10 |  Tennis
Grand Slam women's singles latest
21 May 10 |  Tennis
Order of play
23 May 09 |  Tennis


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