May 11th, 2008
This past week offered plenty of surprises at the Tier I, Qatar Telecom German Open in Berlin. At the start of the week, the tournament looked to be promising, with big names Justine Henin, Serena Williams, Ana Ivanovic and Jelena Jankovic were all present. However, in a surprise turn of events, none of those names were present during Sunday's final.
Justine Henin, the certified Queen of Clay was sent packing in a 3rd Round shock loss to Dinara Safina with a scoreline of 5-7, 6-3, 6-1. The following day, Safina followed up her win with another shocking victory, outing Serena Williams, 2-6, 6-1, 7-6(5) to snap Serena's 17 match win streak.
On the other side of the draw, Jankovic continued to falter during the clay season with a loss in the Quarter-Finals to Elena Dementieva who also went on to defeat defending champion, Ana Ivanovic in the Semi-Finals. This was to lead to a Safina vs. Dementieva final. It may not be what many would have hoped for, but it still was an exciting match nontheless.
Safina was looking to continue her good form and Dementieva wanted to add to her Dubai title that she won earlier in the year. Both considered good clay court players, fought tooth and nail for the victory. A Tier I victory in Berlin is always considered good as you head towards Roland Garros in 2 weeks. But it would be Safina who prevailed, sending Dementieva packing in a tough three set battle. The final score line was 3-6, 6-2, 6-2. For Safina it was her biggest tournament win of her career. It was also her sixth career victory.
The players next stop on the WTA Tour is in Rome, which will feature the returns of Maria Sharapova and Venus Williams. Ivanovic and Jankovic will be present as will Serena Williams. Justine Henin has withdrawn from the tournament.