the web pages from ireland

Dementieva beaten by gutsy Kleinova
22/06/2004 - 14:40:57

Sixth seed Elena Dementieva has fallen at the first hurdle at Wimbledon today in a 6-4 1-6 6-4 defeat to Sandra Kleinova, of the Czech Republic.

It never looked good for the French Open runner-up as she lost the opening set of her first round match on court 18.

The Russian, beaten by compatriot Anastasia Myskina at Roland Garros last month, has never been past the fourth round at SW19, but showed greater strength from the baseline to force an early break of serve in game two but then she lost her own service.

Kleinova is no stranger to grass, having first played at the All England Club in 1997, but the Czech player is too comfortable at the back of the court to have made it any further than the first round.

The 26-year-old soon levelled the set at 2-2 and broke the Russian again in game seven which was littered with double faults.

Dementieva won her next service game but despite saving two set points, and then forcing a break point herself, it was Kleinova, who held her nerve to take the opening set 6-4.

Although not a grass court specialist Dementieva is not ranked number six in the world for nothing and started to show some of the composure which helped her defeat the likes of Lindsay Davenport and Amelie Mauresmo in France.

The 22-year-old raced into a 3-0 lead at the start of the second set. In game four with the scores at deuce Kleinova, clearly in some discomfort, called for the trainer.

She received lengthy treatment on what appeared to be a knee injury during the medical time out and it was unclear whether the match would be restarted.

The injury was clearly troubling Kleinova, who had trouble moving along the base line.

It was no surprise when Dementieva held her own serve, including one clocked at 106mph, before breaking Kleinova again and going on to close out the set 6-1 to level the match.

Kleinova was at least moving more freely following the re-start and after holding her serve, she forced two break points against the Russian.

She was unable to convert either though and then lost her own service game. However, Kleinova then took control of the deciding set when twice breaking Dementieva as the pair slugged it out from the base line.

The Czech, ranked outside the top 100, led 4-2 but then lost her serve as Dementieva squared the game up at four all.

However, when the Russian really needed her service game, despite one being measured at 108mph, it deserted her as Kleinova forced a match point with a short half-volley before Dementieva double-faulted to crash out at the first hurdle at the All England club.

Related Stories: