Elena Dementieva won the all-Russian championship match on Sunday at the Rogers Cup in Toronto in straight set, 6-4, 6-3 over Maria Sharapova. The fourth seed was the far more consistent player on this day and wins her fourteenth career final in the process.
Speaking about the win today, Dementieva revealed it was a more physical match than she would have preferred.
"Yeah, I just feel I played a huge day. I was fighting for every point, so many long rallies. I mean, it was not the way I like to play. It was a more defensive game today. But against her, it's very hard to be aggressive because she put a lot of pressure on the first two shots, so you really need to work on the defense before you have your chances to approach or to go, you know, with a good shot."
Despite the loss Sharapova has much reason to look back positively on her week in Toronto. It marks her first tour final since returning from injury and will help her ranking improve enough for a top-32 seed at the U.S. Open.
Sharapova handled the loss with stride, although she did elude to the fact she would have preferred a later start after her night match against Kleybanova went three sets yesterday.
"No, I think we should have played earlier. (laughter) Why not, right? What's two or three hours less of sleep going to do to you, right?"
With ten double faults in today's match, Sharapova is still struggling to find consistency on her serve.
"No, it's coming back from something that's a pretty serious injury with the shoulder, and when you use it so much and all your groundstrokes and your serve, and you know, my serve is, you know, one of my biggest weapons in the game, and then coming off the injury and kind of tweaking your motion a little bit, it takes a lot of time for adjustments when you do something, you know, for your whole career since you were young and you're used to doing it a certain way, when all of a sudden you have to change it at a very elite level."
For Dementieva the win is a nice confidence boost as she heads to Flushing Meadows still seeking her first ever Grand Slam title. Her performance at the Rogers Cup certainly makes her one of the favorites. After tough early round matches against Shahar Peer and Samantha Stosur that went three sets, she picked her game up when it mattered most with straight set victories over Serena Williams and Sharapova.