x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 January 2018

Dementieva defeats Schiavone to reach semi-finals

The Russian reaches her second consecutive Wimbledon semi-final, beating Francesca Schiavone 6-2 6-2.

Elena Dementieva reached her second successive Wimbledon semi-final with an easy victory over the Italian Francesca Schiavone on Court One. The Olympic champion and the fourth seed at SW19 won 6-2 6-2 to set-up a semi-final clash against Serena Williams or Victoria Azarenka. "I am just very happy to be in the semi-final again," said Dementieva. "It was a tough match despite the score. The weather conditions were tough today so I'm glad to go through. I was trying to play very aggressive and make it as quick as possible because it is very hot out there. "I am sure it will be a tough challenge for me against Serena, if she gets though, as she likes to play on grass. But I just want to give myself another try."

Schiavone had been bidding to become the first Italian to reach the last four of a Wimbledon tournament. But Dementieva easily won the opening game of the contest and followed that by breaking Schiavone's serve to lead 2-0. The Italian had a great chance to break straight back but squandered three opportunities and Dementieva made it 3-0 when Schiavone sent an attempted passing shot wide. The Italian's serve was not strong enough to trouble the power of Dementieva and found herself 4-0 down in just 14 minutes. Schiavone had another three break points in the next game and once again threw them away to allow Dementieva to go 5-0 ahead.

The Italian held serve for the first time in the match and followed that by breaking the Russian to reduce the arrears. But any hopes of a fightback were thwarted when Schiavone over-hit a crosscourt volley from the Russian and Dementieva went on to take the set 6-2. Schiavone made a better start to the second set ? winning her serve to make it 1-1. But Dementieva was on top form and a superb angled forehand had the Italian scampering in vain to try and reach it. An identical shot brought Dementieva another break of serve and a 4-1 lead. Schiavone still proved she had some fight left in the locker by holding serve, however Dementieva was unplayable on her own delivery and a 5-2 lead left Schiavone serving to save the match.

A poor return into the net left her opponent with two match points and an over-hit shot finally ended her participation in the tournament. *PA Sport