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Kuznetsova faces Dementieva in final of Dubai Championships

Kuznetsova faces Dementieva in final of Dubai Championships

Second-seeded Svetlana Kuznetsova will play eighth-seeded Elena Dementieva in an all-Russian final of the Dubai Championships.
Kuznetsova beat fourth-seeded Jelena Jankovic of Serbia 5-7, 6-4, 6-3. On Saturday, Kuznetsova will aim for her 10th career WTA Tour title, and her first of the year.
Dementieva lost the first set against unseeded Francesa Schiavone of Italy but came back strongly to win 5-7, 7-5, 6-2.
Kuznetsova benefited from Jankovic's lack of stamina.
"I was totally exhausted, not there at all physically," Jankovic said. "My legs were not moving. And against a player as strong as Svetlana, you need to be physically 100 percent fit."
Kuznetsova, who also reached the Dubai final in 2004, was pleased with her play.
"I felt I started playing better and better as the match progressed," Kuznetsova said. "I made a slight change of tactics in the second set when I stopped hitting the ball flat and tried to mix it up."
Kuznetsova, who won the 2004 US Open against Dementieva in straight sets, said the matches were harder than they looked.
"It just looks easy on paper, but the reality is that it is always hard out there," Kuznetsova said. "You always got to play at your top level because all the players are always trying to push you."
Dementieva made early breaks in all three sets, but the turning point came when Schiavone had cramps in her right hamstring and calf in the middle of the second set.
Dementieva said she hoped to be ready after two difficult three-set matches in two days.
"It's going to be another tough match against Kuznetsova," Dementieva said. "I hope I will recover well enough. But I am very happy with the way I am playing."