Sun, Feb 28, 2010 - Page 20 News List

Dementieva slays Bammer to set up all-Russian final

AFP , KUALA LUMPUR

Elena Dementieva of Russia returns to Australia’s Sybille Bammer during their Malaysian Open semi-final in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, yesterday.

PHOTO: AFP

Elena Dementieva, the Beijing Olympics gold medalist, is ready to claim another singles title at the Malaysian Open after a 6-1, 6-3 win in the semi-finals yesterday over Austria’s Sybille Bammer.

Bammer reached the semi-finals after completing a 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 win over Taiwan’s Chang Kai-chen late on Thursday.

Top seed Dementieva of Russia will meet compatriot Alisa Kleybanova today in the final.

Kleybanova defeated Japan’s Ayumi Morita 6-4, 6-1 in 76 minutes. It will be her first WTA final.

Dementieva has been a consistent player in the tournament that saw the favorite and China’s second seed Li Na knocked out in the first round.

The 28-year-old Dementieva put a lot of pressure on Bammer to win points. She also varied her game with lobs and slices to crush the Austrian player.

Bammer was assertive in the second set, during which play was suspended for 55 minutes because of a storm.

Following title wins in Sydney and Paris, Dementieva kept her focus despite 29-year-old Bammer’s challenge and collected crucial points with lethal serves.

Meanwhile, Kleybanova said she had a tough time taming Morita in the first set, but her serves helped her to collect points.

“The first set was difficult as she is a fast, powerful and aggressive player. She didn’t make it easy for me and I was not feeling 100 percent at the start,” Kleybanova told reporters. “I’m happy that I played the important points well, as she was winning her service games quite easily. In the second set, I played much better and more relaxed, and understood what I had to do.”

Kleybanova, who is ranked 29, said she will try to beat seventh-ranked Dementieva in the final and attempt to break into the top 20 this year.

“I’m not thinking too much about tomorrow’s final. I will go out and aim for one point at a time. It is never easy in the final and I will give my best and fight for every point, like I always do,” the 21-year-old said.

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