- Elena Dementieva - Maria Sharapova - tennis - WTA
AFP - Elena Dementieva avenged a tough Wimbledon defeat with a straight-sets victory over second-seeded Serena Williams Saturday to reach the final of the two million-dollar WTA hardcourt tournament in Toronto.
Fourth-seeded Dementieva defeated Williams 7-6 (7/2), 6-1 will face Russian compatriot Maria Sharapova in Sunday's final.
Former world number one Sharapova, who is battling to regain peak fitness after being sidelined for 10 months by a shoulder injury, beat Alisa Kleybanova 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 in the other semi-final.
This will be the 11th career meeting between Sharapova and Dementieva. Sharapova has dominated with eight wins and just two losses. Dementieva hasn't beaten Sharapova since the semi-finals in Los Angeles three years ago.
Dementieva, 27, converted five of her 10 break chances against Williams. After they traded six breaks of serve in the opening set she turned the tide with a dominant victory in the tiebreaker.
It was the first time the two had met since an epic semi-final battle at Wimbledon, which Williams won 7-6 (7/4), 5-7, 8-6 en route to capturing the title.
"I was looking for this match, especially after losing such a close battle at Wimbledon," Dementieva said.
The Russian, often prone to double faults, had just two, the same number as Williams. She said serving well was key against the powerful American.
"I was trying to stay with a high percentage of first serves, which is very important with Serena because she always take advantage of the second serve to attack you."
Williams had been broken just once in her first three matches here, but she looked out of sorts from the start, misjudging her ground strokes and piling up the unforced errors.
"I can't say I was especially feeling the fire," Williams said. "Obviously you want to do well, and I always really want to do well.
"Honestly, I think I could have and should have won, but I didn't, so ... it is what it is."
Sharapova snuck past countrywoman Alisa Kleybanova 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 in two hours, 37 minutes to secure her spot in the finals.
With the score tied at 4-4 in the third set, Sharapova broke Kleybanova's serve before going on to win the match on her own serve.
Toronto Cup women's singles semi-final
Maria Sharapova (Russia) beat Alisa Kleybanova (Russia) 6-24-6 6-4
Elena Dementieva (Russia) beat 2-Serena Williams (U.S.)7-6(2) 6-1