Dementieva captures Rogers Cup women’s title

TORONTO — Elena Dementieva’s U.S. Open tuneup was an overwhelming success.

Canadian Sports Minister Gary Lund

TORONTO — Elena Dementieva’s U.S. Open tuneup was an overwhelming success.

The No. 4 seed overcame an ugly first set to beat Maria Sharapova 6-4, 6-3 on Sunday in the final of the US$2-million Rogers Cup. Dementieva’s largely steady play was too much for an error-prone Sharapova to handle in the first all-Russian final in tournament history.

For Dementieva, who takes home US$350,000 for the win, the week couldn’t have gone much better. The hardcourt specialist dominated world No. 2 Serena Williams in the semifinal, and had a similarly easy time against former No. 1 Sharapova as she prepares for the U.S. Open, which gets underway Aug. 31.

“It’s great to have so many good matches against so many top-10 players here,” said Dementieva, who has just three wins in 11 career meetings with Sharapova. “I hope it’s going to be good preparation. For sure, this kind of win gives you a lot of confidence, so right now it’s all about recovering and getting ready for New York.”

By contrast, Sharapova hardly looked like the player that beat three seeded opponents on the way to her first final since April 2008. Continuing her return from a serious shoulder injury that sidelined her for nearly a year, Sharapova committed 10 double faults Sunday and had trouble with even the most routine shots.

Despite her subpar performance against her compatriot, Sharapova said she was pleased by her overall showing.

“I think it was a really great week for me,” said Sharapova, who pocketed $175,000 for the runner-up result. “Playing six matches was great leading up to the U.S. Open. I think this was really good preparation.”

Sharapova had to endure a gruelling three-set match against Alisa Kleybanova in Saturday night’s semifinal, and suggested that the quick turnaround might have played a factor in her Sunday struggles.

“I wasn’t as fresh as I was in the first round,” said Sharapova. “It’s a quick turnaround, but it’s the finals. You can’t really think about it. It’s the way things go.”

The first set was as sloppy as it gets, as both players fought breezy conditions in front of a packed house at the Rexall Centre. It featured eight service breaks, 14 double faults and a number of easy shots hit long, or drilled into the net.

Dementieva went up 4-1 on the strength of two breaks — the first of which was aided by three Sharapova double faults. But Sharapova saved three break points in the next game to hold serve, and closed to within 4-3 when Dementieva double faulted to lose her service game.

Both players traded breaks before Dementieva finally finished things off, converting her third set point when Sharapova hit a forehand into the net.

The second set was a little tamer, with both players holding serve until the sixth game. Sharapova fought off two break points but fired a forehand into the net on the third to hand Dementieva a 4-2 lead.

That was all Dementieva needed, as she held serve throughout and clinched her 14th career WTA Tour title when Sharapova’s drop shot fell into the net on the third championship point.

“I really like to play this tournament, but I’ve never done anything better than first or second round, which was very disappointing for me,” said Dementieva. “Every time I come I have such great crowd support.

“I just feel so happy to finally win this title. It means a lot to me.”

Elsewhere, the sixth-seeded Spanish tandem of Nuria Llagostero Vives and Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez beat third-seeded Australians Stephanie Stosur and Rennae Stubbs 2-6, 7-5, 11-9 to capture the women’s title.

Just Posted

Ride to Conquer Cancer cancels but Red Deerian keeps going

Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer was cancelled due to smoke

Record-breaking year in Red Deer for smoke

Expect more smoke in Red Deer Wednesday

Mustard Seed prepares people for workforce

Employment Readiness Fair to be held August 28

Update: Bomb squad investigates, destroys suspicious package in Red Deer

North police station was closed as they investigated Tuesday afternoon

Updated Red Deer smoke free bylaw to ban smoking cannabis in public

Smoke Free Bylaw returns to Red Deer city council Sept. 4

Liberals unveil poverty plan with lofty goals, but no new spending programs

OTTAWA — The minister in charge of Canada’s latest national plan to… Continue reading

Case of truck driver charged in Humboldt Broncos crash adjourned until October

MELFORT, Sask. — The case of a Calgary truck driver charged in… Continue reading

Animal crackers break out of their cages

After more than a century behind bars, the beasts on boxes of… Continue reading

Alligator kills woman trying to protect her dog at resort

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. — A woman who often walked her dog… Continue reading

Patients redirected as water leak shuts down Edmonton hospital’s emergency room

EDMONTON — Ambulances are being redirected to other hospitals after a water… Continue reading

Parks Canada moves second bison bull that wandered out of Banff National Park

BANFF — Parks Canada says a second bison bull that wandered out… Continue reading

Lottery for parent sponsorship to be replaced, more applications to be accepted

OTTAWA — The Trudeau government is scrapping an unpopular lottery system for… Continue reading

Air Canada-led consortium signs deal to buy Aeroplan program from Aimia

TORONTO — A consortium led by Air Canada has reached a deal… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month