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tennisIlove09
Apr 19th, 2003, 10:49 PM
Dementieva upsets top-seeded Henin-Hardenne

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Associated Press


AMELIA ISLAND, Fla. -- The tempestuous Russian blonde is one victory away from her first title. A familiar story? Sure. Only this time, it has nothing to do with Anna Kournikova.


Elena Dementieva ended top-seeded Justine Henin-Hardenne's seven-match winning streak Saturday with a 3-6, 6-4, 7-5 victory in the semifinals of the Bausch & Lomb Championships.



After her first win in four tries against Henin-Hardenne, the 10th-seeded Dementieva moved into the fifth final of her five-year pro career, including the 2000 Olympics.


She will play Lindsay Davenport or Jennifer Capriati on Sunday.


"I'll go walking on the beach tonight -- nothing really different,'' Dementieva said when asked if she'll change her routine in preparation for the final.


The 21-year-old from Moscow says she's "not enemies, not friends'' with Kournikova, who is also without a title, but has become famous as much for her glamour shoots as her tennis.


Many consider Dementieva to be every bit as pretty, but her goals aren't exactly the same.


"I'm not criticizing her,'' Dementieva said. "She's a different person. All I can do is speak for myself. I just concentrate on tennis, and trying to be a good sportsman for Russia.''


Playing the day after an amazingly easy 6-0, 6-1 upset of fourth-seeded Daniela Hantuchova, Dementieva had a tougher time in the semis.


At some points, she was brilliant, dictating play with strong groundstrokes and picking on Henin-Hardenne's backhand, which was unusually errant on the green clay. At others, Dementieva was timid and tense. She won the last two sets despite puffing in many of her first serves at speeds right around 70 mph.


"On one side of the court, the sun was in my eyes,'' she said. "I was just trying to get the ball in.''


Clearly nervous in trying to make her first final since a Dutch grass-court event in June, Dementieva leaned down to smell the flowers stationed by the scoreboard after losing one particularly tough point. Most of the time, however, she had trouble enjoying herself -- squealing when she missed easy shots and loudly berating herself in Russian when she lost tough points.


It was somewhat entertaining, somewhat painful to watch -- especially at the end, when Dementieva squandered a 4-1 lead in the third set. Henin-Hardenne had match point at 5-4 on Dementieva's serve, but missed a backhand to let the Russian back in.


"She started playing well when she got 4-1 down,'' Dementieva said. "I just said to myself, `Don't give up. Try to play. Try not to think about the score.'''


Dementieva followed with a backhand winner, then Henin-Hardenne gave up the game when she netted an easy forehand on a 66 mph second serve.


Trailing 6-5, Henin-Hardenne lost a pair of break points, then hit two easy forehands into the net to end the match.


Henin-Hardenne failed in her quest for a second straight title. Last week, she beat Serena Williams to win the Family Circle Cup.


"It's disappointing to lose in this situation,'' Henin-Hardenne said. "But that's tennis. I'm still learning a lot of things. I've got to use these lessons for the next time.''

WhatTheDeuce
Apr 19th, 2003, 10:52 PM
i dont know why they are talking about anna :rolleyes:

GOOD JOB ELENA!!!