Serena Williams to meet Dementieva in Kremlin Cup final

Oct 13, 2007 - 8:15 PM MOSCOW (Ticker) -- Serena Williams is on the verge of another championship.

The fourth-seeded American advanced to the Kremlin Cup final on Saturday with a 7-6 (7-2), 6-1 victory against top-seeded Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova at the dual-gender tournament.

Williams is seeking her third title of the year - previously winning at Miami and at the Australian Open - and the 29th of her career. The world No. 7 has been limited by injuries this season, but is 35-7 when she does play and will be anxious to secure another title considering she has not won since April.

"(Kuznetsova) is No. 2 in the world and has been playing so well this year so I just felt like the underdog, I didn't feel any pressure at all," said Williams, who improved to 3-1 against the 22-year-old. "Playing a Russian in Russia, I also knew everyone wanted her to win. So I felt no pressure."

The 26-year-old's final opponent Sunday will be another Russian, unseeded Elena Dementieva. In her fifth consecutive semifinal at this event, Dementieva steamrolled her way into the championship by disposing of fellow countrywoman Dinara Safina, 6-1, 6-0, in just over an hour.

"It seemed easy from the score but it wasn't," Dementieva said. "We fought for a lot of the games and it was not an easy match. I'm very satisfied with how I was playing today and I'm glad I could save some energy for tomorrow's final."

The unseeded Dementieva is 30-10 all-time here and was a runner-up in 2001 and 2004, but she has not enjoyed much success against Williams, who has won all four career meetings and won every set along the way.

"Whenever I've played (Williams) she has been so much better, so I think it will be a great chance for me," Dementieva said. "It'll be a good experience."

The 25-year-old Dementieva has seven career WTA titles including one this season in Istanbul.

"(Dementieva has been) playing so well this fall," Williams said. "It'll be a fun match, although I don't think the crowd will be rooting for me."

First prize in the $1.34 million women's tournament is $182,000.

In the $1 million men's draw, top-seeded Nikolay Davydenko continued his march toward another title here with a 7-6 (10-8), 6-1 triumph in the semifinals against unseeded Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia.

Fourth in the world rankings and playing on home soil, Davydenko is looking for his third Kremlin Cup title after winning this tournament last year and in 2004. The 26-year-old has 10 career singles titles, but has yet to win in 2007.

The Russian's opponent in Sunday's final will be fourth seed Paul-Henri Mathieu, who advanced with a 7-5, 6-3 victory against Germany's Michael Berrer.

Mathieu will be after his third title of the season and fifth of his career when he faces Davydenko, who has split four meetings with the world No. 24.

First prize for the men is $142,000.






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