Kremlin Cup results: Davydenko and Dementieva win on home courts
Top seeded Nikolay Davydenko and unseeded Elena Dementieva both of Russia clinched the 2.34-million-dollar joint ATP and WTA Kremlin Cup titles here on Sunday.
Davydenko defended his title beating Frenchman Paul-Henri Mathieu, who was seeded fourth, while Dementieva won her eighth career title and her second of the year, beating US fourth seed Serena Williams.
With his 7-5, 7-6 (11/9) win in two hours 32 minutes Davydenko, currently fourth in the world, clinched his 11th career title and first this year, taking a 3-2 lead in his head-to-head record with Mathieu.
"I`m really happy to win today," Davydenko said. "Psycologically it was my most difficult win at the Kremlin Cup."
"It`s a pitty that I failed to win on my early match points. Late in the tiebreak I threw caution to the wind but managed to win."
The opponents both started confidently holding serve until the fifth game, when Davydenko, who was playing his season`s first final, broke for a 4-2 lead but Mathieu, 2002 champion here, broke back to level at four games all.
However, Davydenko broke again in the 11th to claim the set in a minute shy of the hour.
The rivals were trading breaks throughout the second set but had to decide the winner in a tiebreak, which Davydenko, who also won the Kremlin Cup in 2004, won on the fourth match points after surviving eight set points.
"I had my chances in the first set but unfortunately I missed them," Mathieu said. "This match was decided by just two or three points, which I failed to win."
Earlier Dementieva defeated Williams for the first time in five meetings 5-7, 6-1, 6-1 and will regain a place in the world`s top 10.
At the award cermony Dementieva praised her fans for their cordial support adding she was extremely happy to win on home courts.
"It`s an incredible feeling when you win at home," Dementieva said. "I`m so happy with myself to win here and even more happy to bring joy to my fans, who supported me throughout the event.
"I knew that in case I failed to win today it could happen never again. And the fact that I never beat Serena (Williams) before helped me. I just came onto the court and played my tennis."
Dementieva broke early in the match but eight-time Grand Slam champion Williams took three consecutive games for a 4-2 lead.
The 25-year-old Russian broke again in the seventh to level at four games all only to throw away the 12th and the set with a string of errors.
In the second the 26-year-old American suddenly run out of gas, while the local crowd favourite picked up steam and produced three breaks to level at one set all after one hour 13 minutes on court.
Williams, seventh in the WTA rankings, broke immediately into the the deciding set but it was her last success in the match as Dementieva replied positively taking six consecutive games to clinch the title.
Dementieva pocketed a prize purse of 182,000 dollars, while runner-up Williams, who fired seven aces but committed 59 unforced errors in the match, received 97,800 dollars.
"She played unbelievable!" Williams said Dementieva`s performance. "She should try to play like that more often."
She also blamed herself for a poor performance.
"I`ve made a lot of errors," she added. "It was me. Every ball I hit I felt was out. It was so frustrating."
Later on Sunday top seed and defending champion Nikolay Davydenko of Russia and 2002 champion here Frenchman Paul-Henri Mathieu, seeded fourth, will decide the winner of the ATP section of the tournament.