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Thursday, July 2, 2009

Dementieva disappointed at missed chance

Photo Titled Dementieva down
Elena Dementieva loses in the semi-final to Serena Williams.

Elena Dementieva could not hide her disappointment as she pinpointed her biggest regret about losing an epic Wimbledon semi-final to Serena Williams after being match point up at one stage.

The 27-year-old Russian, now a losing semi-finalist here two years running, was in reflective mood at her post-match press conference as she said: "Maybe I should have taken a bit more risk on the match point. I should have gone down the line on the match point. I'm disappointed with the shot because I'm very surprised I didn't go down the line.

"[The] passing shot is my favourite shot to make. And maybe it was too quick, so I didn't see she was moving to cover [the] cross court. She was very close to the net. I mean, down the line or even lob would work.”

Dementieva's deep sighs gave away her enormous disappointment but after all that self-berating, the 4th seed did find time to focus on the positives of playing such a huge part in Wimbledon's longest-ever ladies' singles semi-final, saying: “I think it was a very close match, and we both were playing very well today. It was a good fight.”

Her assessment was that it had been her "best match on grass" and "the best match we ever played against each other".

"I don't think it was the last chance."

After such a solid performance, the Olympic gold medallist’s confidence seemed greater rather than dented. She said her fighting spirit was “still here” and added: "Last year, I was a little bit more nervous than today, and I couldn't really play my game against Venus [in last year’s semi-final].

"But today from the beginning I was very positive. I knew exactly what to expect from her. We played lots of matches before, so I was ready to play. And it was a good match.”

It’s beholden on losing semi-finalists to be somewhat stoical, and Dementieva achieved this with notable elegance, saying: “The way I was playing is more important than the result.”

But then she was quick to dismiss suggestions that she would have no better chance than this to win a Grand Slam: “I don't think that it was my best chance. I don't think it was the last chance.”

In fact, she said, her game is very much on the up. “Only by playing these kind of matches can you improve. [These are] the players that I want to beat, to win a Grand Slam. You have this experience playing a very close match against Serena, I think it's very positive. I'm gonna watch this match again. I'm gonna take some positive things from it and go forward.”

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