Dementieva triumphs in battle of Russians for title

TORONTO: Elena Dementieva won her third singles title of the year, snapping a run of poor showings against Maria Sharapova in an all-Russian showdown at the WTA Rogers Cup on Sunday.

In a tune-up event for the US Open, the 27-year-old Dementieva posted a 6-4, 6-3 win over unseeded Sharapova to earn her 14th career singles title.

"I really like to play this tournament, but I've never done anything better than first or second round, which was very disappointing for me," Dementieva said. "Every time I come I have such great crowd support.

"I just feel so happy to finally win this title. It means a lot to me." She also won titles this year in Sydney and Auckland but hasn't had much success against Sharapova over the years.

It was just the third win for Dementieva over Sharapova in 12 career meetings and first in three years. Her last win was in the semi-finals of the 2006 Los Angeles tournament.

Former world number one Sharapova is battling to regain peak fitness after being sidelined for 10 months by a shoulder injury. This was her first final since coming back.

"I think it was a really great week for me," Sharapova said. "Playing six matches was great leading up to the US Open. I think this was really good preparation." The fourth-seeded Dementieva, often prone to double faults, had seven Sunday while Sharapova committed a whopping 10.

Dementieva also registered her 50th match win of 2009, joining Dinara Safina and Caroline Wozniacki.

She rallied to beat second seed Serena Williams 7-6, 6-1 in the semi-finals, avenging a loss to Williams at Wimbledon.

"I hope it's going to be good preparation (US Open)," Dementieva said. "For sure, this kind of win gives you a lot of confidence, so right now it's all about recovering and getting ready for New York." Sharapova dropped to 19-8 lifetime in singles finals on the WTA Tour.

World number one Dinara Safina was ousted in her opening match, losing to Aravane Rezai.