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Serena Williams will meet Dinara Safina in Australian Open final

Dinara Safina at the 2009 Australian OpenSerena Williams at the 2009 Australian OpenNine-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams will meet the French Open runner-up Dinara Safina in the final of the 2009 Australian Open.

Williams put Elena Dementieva's 15-match winning streak to an end, defeating the Russian 6-3 6-4 in the semifinals. In-form Dementieva had been undefeated this year and she even beat Williams two weeks ago in Sydney, plus, the Russian won their last three meetings.

Despite everything, powerful Williams can always step up on Grand Slam stage and keep her cool. Dementieva double-faulted eight times, while Williams made no double faults.The American hit 27 winners – including 10 aces – to 18 winners from the Russian. She even rallied from behind in the second set, trailing 3-0 before winning six of seven games.

"A perfect match for me? Oh, no, no, no. But it was definitely better," said Williams after the match.

In the other semifinal, Dinara Safina defeated fellow Russian Vera Zvonareva 6-3 7-6(4). The combination of Safina's heavier shot-making and aggression proved too much for Zvonareva.

Whoever wins Saturday's singles final – Serena Williams or Dinara Safina – will take the No.1 ranking position from Jelena Jankovic.

Serena Williams on possible return to No.1:

"That would be just a bonus. But my goal isn't to be number one, my goal is to win one more match here at the Australian Open."

Dinara Safina on the possibility of being top-ranked for the first time:

"Since I was growing up it has been my dream one day to be number one. To play against Serena and to fight for the number one is just going to be unbelievable."

I believe Serena is big favorite to win this final. She’s feeling comfortable on Grand Slam stage, having played Grand Slam finals many times, and having won the Australian Open three times already (2003, 2005, 2007). Also, she’s 5-1 against Safina and has won all their four meetings on hardcourts, including the last two of their clashes. (sources: Reuters, Sony Ericsson WTA Tour, photos: Getty Images)

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9 thoughts on “Serena Williams will meet Dinara Safina in Australian Open final

  1. Bróna

    Really wanted elena and vera in the final. I dont think that either dinara or serena deserves to be in this final as neither of them have been really convincing in winning their matches. It will be an interesting match up though!!

  2. Marija

    Nacho, what can you do. :)

    Bróna, it will be an interesting match up. Safina is very emotional and interesting to watch, it will be an encounter of two powerful players. However, I was hoping for Dementieva to reach the final.

  3. fyuto

    Dementieva showed that she still has the yips and secondly she has never beaten Serena at a slam meeting.
    Good luck Serena rock Safina s world!

  4. jacobappleton

    i love dementieva. i love how she screams after losing a point. shes always a laugh!
    well done serena! doubles today! and tomorrow hopefully. your my favourite player ever! since day one i watched the tennis.

    hope you win!

  5. Zuleika

    William's performance today wasn't shocking, nor sensational as numerous have claimed but rather should be redefined by one question: "What happened to Dinara?" So Williams was playing her normal grand slam quality tennis but on the same note, one has to wonder whether Dinara was possessed, failing to hold her serve, her serve, her willpower to liberate herself from that service game drought. At the end of the day, it is not remarkable how Serena won, just how on earth Dinara managed to extinguish that scorching fire of glory within herself- because we all know the best of Dinara would contest that of Serena's. Dinara and her warrior willpower had reinvented and redefined this year's Australian Open, the highlight and essence and let's leave at that. Australia salutes you and your luminosity and we are certain it will eclipse over this match with the championship in 2010. We know the World NO.2 will be advancing towards a debut championship win in Garros, Wimbledon and US Open.

  6. Marija

    Zuleika, thank you for your in-depth analysis of the final. I watched the final, and I can say I had expected Serena to win, but Safina should have won more games, for sure. The final was too short.

    At the end of the day, Serena has that quality of a champion, and her game doesn't disappoint in the most important moments.

  7. BrendaK

    Serena rarely plays poorly in a slam final. She demolished Maria S. in 2007 and thus followed up in 2009 with the same type of play against Safina. Serena is the best tennis player ever. I cannot understand why so many people cannot appreciate her greatness. It is okay to not like her as an individual because that's one's choice but as a tennis player, she is awesome! Statistics do not lie. Keep on winning Serena!

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