Russia’s Elena Dementieva defeated a hobbling Serena Williams 6-3 6-2 at the Olympic tennis centre on Friday to win the Sydney International for the second year in a row.
Dementieva completely outplayed the American world number one, who was troubled by a sore left knee that restricted her movement on court.
Williams said later the injury was not serious and would not prevent her from playing at the Australian Open, starting in Melbourne on Monday, but had distracted her.
“It’s Just a little pain and the strapping usually helps the pain go away sometimes,” Williams said.
“I haven’t played for two months on a competitive level, so I think it’s good for my body to go through this now, especially since I’m in doubles as well as singles.
“I think it’s a great blessing in a way. I played four matches and my body hasn’t been used to it. Now we’re ready and ready to go.”
Dementieva’s win was her fifth in 12 meetings with Williams and provided her with her 15th WTA title and her second in Sydney after she beat Dinara Safina in last year’s final.
“I’m very satisfied the way I was playing today and the whole week,” said Dementieva, who received the winner’s trophy from Margaret Court.
“That’s what I was really looking for coming here in Sydney, just playing aggressively and playing with a lot of pressure.
“It was a great experience and it’s gonna help me next week.”
Dementieva is still chasing her first grand slam title after making the finals at the French Open and U.S. Open six years ago and said her win in Sydney had given her a real boost heading into the Australian Open.
“When it comes to the grand slam, it’s gonna be a new challenge and I have to be ready and recover from this week and be ready from the first round. “I feel I had a good preparation here and I just want to keep the good form coming into the next week.”
Dementieva seized control of Friday’s final from the outset, breaking Williams’ in the third game. The American immediately broke back and led 3-2 before Dementieva won the next seven games on the trot to take the first set and a 3-0 in the second.