Elena Dementieva Heads To Melbourne Park
Written by Luís Santos Sunday, 14 January 2007 Russian Elena Dementieva will attempt to claim her long-awaited first Grand Slam title as she heads to Melbourne as the 7th seed of the women's singles tournament.
Dementieva, 25, hasn't had much success in Melbourne in the past. Her best results have been two 4th round finishes in 2002 and 2005. It's, by far, the memorable Slam for Dementieva as she has only compiled a mediocre 11-8 record, far from her second wrose Slam in Wimbledon where she has a 15-8 record. But Since Dementieva's results are as tough to predict as to guess when it will rain in the Sahara desert again, we should expect something extra from the Russian, considering she lost in a mild encounter last year to unheralded Julia Schruff.
This year Dementieva started off her preparations in Sydney at the Medibank International, claiming a three setter over Ai Sugiyama, that included two tiebreaks, but falling to Na Li, also in three sets, after holding match-points.
In Melbourne Park, Dementieva will face in her first match French player Stephanie Foretz. These two players have never met before, and while Dementieva is currently ranked 8th, Foretz sits in a low 112th place, barely escaping the qualifying draw. However, Foretz has had some success in the past beating Conchita Martinez and Monica Seles back-to-back in 2002 at Charleston. Since then, though, her results have been pretty pedestrian and if Dementieva wakes on the right side of the bed
we should expect a quick first round match.
Should Elena advance she is most likely to meet Martina Muller in the second round as the german takesn on argentinian qualifer Jorgelina Cravero. In the third round things will certainly heat up as Elena is expected to meet either Elena Vesnina or Medina Garrigues, players who have troubled Dementieva in the past, especially Medina Garrigues who has beaten Elena before. As for the fourth round the battle will most certainly eb between Katarina Srebotnik and Nicole Vaidisova, two players with whom Dementieva has an edge. Until last fall the Russian held a stranglehold of six victories in six matches versus Srebotnik before the Slovenian finally broke through. Against the Czech phenom, she is yet to drop a match in two matches (including an unofficial in Hong Kong earlier this month), although their contests have always gone to a decider.
Should Elena put one of these tough challenges behind her back the odds tell that she will get defending champion Amelie Mauresmo. After claiming three consecutive matches agaisnt Mauresmo from 2004 to 2005, Dementieva has dropped the last three, so it will not be an easy contest. From there on it's pretty much everyone's chance at the title. Main favourites should be Maria Sharapova, Kim Clijsters, Amelie Mauresmo and world number eleven, Jelena Jankovic, who has had a stellar start to her 2007 season.