TENNIS - AUSTRALIA

Dementieva wins Sydney International over Safina

In a 100% Russian final, Elena Dementieva got the better of Dinara Safina (6-3, 2-6, 6-1) to win the Sydney International tournament. The Russian hasn't lost one of her ten games since the season's start.

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REUTERS - Elena Dementieva beat fellow Russian Dinara Safina 6-3 2-6 6-1 in the final of the Sydney International on Friday to complete a perfect buildup to next week's Australian Open.

Dementieva followed up her victory in last week's Auckland Classic to capture her second title this year and extend her unbeaten run to 10 matches this season.

Safina, ranked one place ahead of Dementieva at number three in the world, has now lost her last three matches to her older compatriot, including last year's Olympic singles final in Beijing.

Dementieva, 27, took control of Friday's final from the outset, handling the blustery conditions at Sydney's Olympic tennis centre much better than Safina.

Dementieva, who upset Serena Williams in Thursday's semi-finals, broke Safina's serve twice to wrap up the opening set in 43 minutes.

Safina, 22, who had won all her previous matches in straight sets, rebounded strongly in the second after an animated pep talk with her Croatian coach Zeljko Krajan.

She cut down on her errors and broke Dementieva's serve at the start of the second, then again to square the match and force a decider.

Dementieva regained her composure in the third, racing to a 4-0 lead then sealing the title with a forehand winner on her third match point.

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