Related News

Home » Sports » Tennis

Serena guns for a 10th Grand Slam

SERENA Williams earned a shot at her 10th Grand Slam title and Dinara Safina moved one win from her first with semifinal victories at the Australian Open in Melbourne yesterday.

Williams, who won the Australian title in 2003, 2005 and 2007, played her best match of the tournament in a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Olympic champion Elena Dementieva.

"I haven't moved like that for a while, so I was a little shocked," said Williams, still leaving room for improvement. "A perfect match for me? Oh, no, no, no. But it was definitely better."

She'll get her chance to extend the alternate-year sequence of titles when she meets third-seeded Safina, who beat fellow Russian Vera Zvonareva 6-3, 7-6 (4) in the other semifinal.

The winner of Saturday night's final will also replace Serbia's Jelena Jankovic at the top of the rankings.

"I think we will shake hands after the match and say 'You deserve to be No. 1,"' Safina said.

Safina's older brother, Marat Safin, won the title here in 2005, the day after Williams had won the women's final.

Safin also held the No. 1 ranking in November 2000, meaning Safina has the chance to write the Russian siblings into history.

"Since I was growing up it was my dream to be No. 1," she said. "I watched my brother winning this tournament. It's great that I can follow his steps."

Safina recovered a break early in the second set but again was in trouble with Zvonareva serving for the second set after breaking to pull ahead 6-5. But Safina broke back at love to force a tiebreaker and, from 4-4, ran off the last three points.

Safina is yet to win a major, losing the 2008 French Open final to Ana Ivanovic in her best previous run. She lost to Williams in last year's US Open semifinals.

The roof was closed at Rod Laver Arena for both women's semifinals, protecting the players and fans from outside temperatures topping 44C (111F) degrees.

Williams commended tournament organizers for deciding early to close the roof rather than wait, as they had on Wednesday, until after the first set of her quarterfinal against Svetlana Kuznetsova.

The reigning US Open champion found her rhythm quickly against Dementieva, who has not passed the semifinals at a Slam since 2004.

"I just really wasn't playing well at all. I just wasn't bringing it," she said of her first five matches here. "I thought that I was just going to have to do whatever it takes to win.

"This is definitely not over. I have to play a really tough opponent who wants to win... it (could) be their first Grand Slam. That's super exciting."

The Russian was on a 15-match winning streak, including two titles and wins over Williams and Safina at the Sydney International.

"I had a good run ... (but) I feel like today I was not quick enough," Dementieva said. "I was not maybe aggressive enough against her. She dictated points. But I have no regrets. I had just a great time here."


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend