Elena Dementieva (pictured) defeated second seed Svetlana Kuznetsova 4-6 6-3 6-2 in an all-Russian final at the Dubai Championship on Saturday to win her ninth career title.
It was the eighth seed's first trophy since she won in Moscow in October while Kuznetsova suffered her second defeat in the final here, having also lost to Justine Henin in 2004.
Both players struggled to gain an advantage in a closely-contested opening set of long baseline rallies that produced seven breaks of serve.
Kuznetsova went 2-0 ahead but lost the next three games before winning the following three to lead 5-3.
Dementieva, striking her forehand to good effect, broke as Kuznetsova served for the set, only to drop her own serve for the fourth time in the next game.
The second set was also close with Kuznetsova attempting to come to the net more while Dementieva's pace forced a number of errors from her opponent.
Kuznetsova had the opportunity to build on her advantage when she held a break point to lead 2-0 but hit a return long and Dementieva punished her by breaking twice to go 4-1 up.
Although Kuznetsova recovered one break in the sixth game, Dementieva broke again for the set when her rival made a backhand error. Dementieva maintained her momentum in the decider, striking a fine winner at the net to break for 2-0 before going on to claim the winner's cheque of $250,000 in her debut appearance at the tournament.
Date created : 2008-03-01