Dinara Safina and Elena Dementieva will fight for the gold medal in an all-Russian final at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
In the semifinals the sixth-seeded Safina overcame China’s Li Na 7-6(3) 7-5, while the fifth-seeded Dementieva, a silver medalist in Sydney eight years ago, defeated compatriot Vera Zvonareva 6-3 7-6(3).
Safina, who achieved her 15th straight singles victory, overcame 12 double faults in the semifinal against home favorite Li, including four in the sixth game of the opening set and four in the fifth game of the second. However, Li was no stranger to mistakes either – the world No.42 made 69 unforced errors. Well, no wonder Safina was double faulting – the victory over Li came playing barely 12 hours after she lost a doubles match that lasted until 3:30 a.m. local time.
Safina is 5-2 all-time against her childhood friend Dementieva.
Na Li and Vera Zvonareva will play for the bronze medal.