Sunday, October 14, 2007

Dementieva Upsets Serena To Win Kremlin Cup

by Mad Professah

Elena Dementieva defeated Serena Williams for the first time in 4 career meetings by coming back to win 5-7, 6-1, 6-1 and claim her first Moscow Kremlin Cup title before her hometown crowd despite losing in the final two times before. Dementieva, who turns 26 years old on Monday, won her eighth career title and returned to the World Top 10 after an absence of over 6 months.

It was a disappointing loss for Serena who in the semifinal round had obtained revenge for last week's loss in Stuttgart against world No. 2 Svetlana Kuznetsova by defeating the Russian 7-6(2), 6-1.

Dementieva, who has long struggled with her serve but throughout her career has possessed some of the most muscular strokes on both wings, simply played better than the 8-time Grand Slam champion who gave her opponent (some) credit for the win:

"She just played really unbelievable, she should play like that more often.

"I'm not going to make excuses for myself. I played terrible. I had a feeling that almost every shot I hit, it was out."
Dementieva, on the other hand, said:
"It was very special playing in front of this crowd.

"They were behind me the whole week and especially today in the final. Serena is such a great champion and I felt like this was really my chance to play well against her, in front of my home crowd, too. It was very, very important for me to do that today."

Serena, girl, are those comments really necessary? I mean, I know for all intents and purposes you had just gotten bageled (She broke Dementieva in the first game of the third set and then lost 6 consecutive games to lose the match) but, really "She should [try to] play like that more often"? That's just plain rude.


Craig Hickman said...

What is this, open season on everything that comes out of Serena's mouth?

I know I made my feelings about "lucky shots" known in these parts and others put those comments in a much-needed perspective for me.

All I can say, not having yet seen the match, while I sit in the Pittsburgh airport waiting for the first leg of my flight home, is that nothing I have read from Serena struck me as rude.

Credit is credit. She didn't just give (some) credit, she gave credit. And to offer her opinion that Elena "should play like that more often" can also be seen as a desire from Serena to see a player like ElenaD always play to the best of her ability and be more of a force ont eh women's tour.

That's not rude. It's optimistic.

What else is she supposed to say? "Elena is the most gifted player I've ever faced?"

Why aren't other players taken to task for their remarks. Why wasn't Sveta criticized for taking responsbility for allowing Serena to play so well in the semifinal?

I like Elena. And if Serena wasn't winning, there wasn't really anyone else in the draw I'd rather see win than her, even if I'm uspet about the way the final two sets apparently went. Elena can play lights out tennis and I'm sure she was bolstered by the crowd.

But the fact that Alves was the chair umpire also served as a mental disadvantage to Serena. Why should she have to deal with the incompetence of that women who almost single handedly pushed the powers that be over the line and moved to incorporate shotspot into the game?

I don't care if that match was 3 years ago or 3 decades ago, Alves ought to be banned forever from 1) all matches where Serena is involved and 2) all matches of such import as a Tier 1 final.

Karen said...

Craig, you should have seen the hand-shake that Serena gave Alves, more like a slap on the wrist. On that note I don't think that Alves did anything wrong today in the chair. There was one point where Serena asked her if a ball was out and she said yes. TTC made a point of showing that the ball was indeed out. Serena did not play up to her potential today which was a bit disappointing from my end. She seemed to have problems with her serve (yes I said it her serve), her movement was off and she was not following through on her shots. That being said, all LenaD had to do was get the ball back in play, which she did. I have never been a fan of hers as I think with the game that she has she should have been performing much better than she has. I saw her match with Sharapova and the match before where she took out Patty I think it was, in this year's Acura (or one of those endless summer hardcourt events) and she played really awful tennis against Sharapova. Could not hold her serve, kept making errors and basically playing like crap. For some reason known only to the rest of the WTA tour they always seem to bring it when they play Venus/Serena. What made the match even more unbearable for me to watch was the commentary from both women in the studio. If there was a prize for dragging Serena's name in the mud, these 2 would be battling it out for first place. Can you say tennis envy. To hear Corina say with disbelief that she cannot understand how Serena has won 8 Grand Slam titles while being a part-time player. I guess the answer to that question would be - its because I am that good *itch.

Karen said...

As to the crowd - they cheered every one of Serena's many errors. They were on their feet shouting in approval when LenaD made a winning shot. A very hostile crowd to say the least. What player wants to compete against that. I think the crowd more than Serena's poor play contributed to LenaD's win over Serena today. She was bolstered from it and she fed from it to ensure victory.

Craig Hickman said...

Thanks for the match update, Karen.

Alves doesn't need to do anything wrong in order to mentally disadvantage Serena. Her mere presence is the issue.

It was no coincidence that she chaired this event.

I sincerely hope the crowd wasn't as hostile as you say it was, but until I get home to see for myself, I'll take you at your word.

That said, it's been a long time that someone I really wanted to win a tournament (on either tour) won a tournament.

Oh well.

Onwards and upwards.

peaches said...

Karen, I totally agree of you assesment of the crowd, commentary from Katrina & Corrina and the presence of Alves -Serena must have thought she was in the twilight zone.

brooklyn1006 said...

Karen - I don't have TTC so thanx for the match report. What a mess! I just wish Serena would have complained about the presence of Alves in the chair. Refuse to play with her there. At least request the WTA Supv. replace the Ump. I remember all the nasty comments ED made against the family at IW so many moons ago so I will always hate her.

Craig - Like you, I have never been pushed over the edge or close to it by anything Serena says. I always say I hope Serena doesn't chnge a thing about herself.

Karen said...

Hey guys, it was a really bad scene. This was the first time when I did not even bother to watch the encore presentation of a tennis match. Just awful. To see Serena out there struggling was truly awful as was the look on her mother's face. And to hear the commentators make reference to the fact that Oracene did not know what to do. It was like they were revelling in Serena's losing that match. To hear Corina denigrate Serena's 8 grand slam titles as Serena not being worthy of them because she is a part-time player. It was like she was asking who the hell are you to have all these titles, while I dont even have one and I dedicate myself to this sport. As does her very good friend, Lindsay Davenport. Can you imagine the conversation after the 2003 AO when Serena bagelled Lindsay in the final set. LOL. Tennis is and will always be an elitist sport with elitist thinkers. To hear Corina describe Serena's game as "ball bashing" and that she cannot volley was just too bad. She was so hoping yesterday that Serena would have lost to Svetlana (a player who I really like because she seems so genuine) and today was just more of the same. I hope that we don't have to listen to those 2 during Zurich and Linz and YEC. Really horrible. And don't get me started on the crowd. They cheered the double-faults of Serena, they cheered her errors and they erupted when LenaD hit a winner. It is bad enough to play in front of a hometown crowd, it is even worse when you are playing a hostile crowd. But that is o.k. those girls were raised right by Richard and Oracene, they will get over it.

Mad Professah said...

Oooops, I thought the name Alves was familiar but I didn't make the connection. I agree that it is totally inappropriate for that umpire ever to officiate a Serena Williams match ever again. I'm not sure that she shouldn't be allowed to officiate a Tier 1 final, but I wouldn't be sad not to see her at a WTA final ever again.

tangerine said...

"She should play like that more often." .... how is this rude? I think Dementieva would actually agree with that comment.

As for the hostile crowd, that's to be expected. It was Elena's home tournament, one that she had never won, and she was facing an opponent she'd never beaten. The crowd's reaction was understandable and Serena should know what to expect by now.

As for Alves...WTF is she doing umping a Williams match? I couldn't believe it when I saw that. I'm shocked she's still got a job, I thought she was fired or had her credentials taken away or something.

rabbit said...

I didn't watch the match, so I can't say anything about the crowd or the quality of play. But Serena's comments don't seem to me all that awful. As tangerine said, Dementieva would probably gladly agree. Generally acknowledged superior players, like Serena, Henin, Federer and Nadal, should have a right to say such things, given that they are ones who are at the receiving end of their opponents' hardest efforts. If anything, these comments should encourage Dementieva.