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Dementieva Heads to Berlin

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Next stop on the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour is the Qatar Telecom German Open from Berlin, Germany. Elena Dementieva, seeded fifth, receives a first-round bye.

After coming up short versus Kim Clijsters in Warsaw the Russian is once again looking to win a second title for the season after having claimed the Tokyo Pan Pacific Open title earlier in the year.

Heading to Berlin, Dementieva is one spot higher in the rankings this week, now eighth, as she traded places with Patty Schnyder, now ninth. Berlin has one of the best draws in recent years, with the likes of Amelie Mauresmo, Nadia Petrova, Justine Henin-Hardenne, Patty Schnyder and Martina Hingis participating among others.

After a first-round bye, Dementieva will meet the winner of the clash between Polish Marta Domachowska and Ukrainian Julia Vakulenko, who comes from the qualifying draw.

Should Dementieva advance, she is likely to get either Martina Hingis, a player she beat in the Tokyo final and who leads the head-to-head series by 3-2 since winning the last three matches, or Flavia Pennetta, Elena’s doubles partner. Dementieca and Pennetta won their first round doubles match on Monday over Sromova/K. Bondarenko.

If the Russian blonde gets to the quarterfinals, she will most certainly meet world number one Amelie Mauresmo, a player she trails 4-8 head-to-head, losing last year’s three meetings, in the Filderstadt, the Porsche and in the finals of Philadelphia where Mauresmo won 7-5, 6-2 and 7-5.

Looking further ahead, Justine Henin-Hardenne looms as a potential semifinal opponent for Dementieva. These players are tied for the year with Elena sailing away with a win at Indian Wells after trailing 6-2 and 5-2. However, the Belgian claimed their last meeting in Fed Cup by 6-2 and 6-0.

For the final, the most dangerous player seems to be Nadia Petrova, Elena’s countrywoman, who holds a perfect 10-0 record on clay after claiming the American clay season that includes Amelia Island and Charleston.

This is the Qatar Telecom Open’s 27th edition as a Tour event. This year, the centre court was named after German tennis legend Steffi Graf.

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