MOSCOW, Oct 14 (Reuters) Russia's Elena Dementieva gave herself an early birthday present when she crushed Serena Williams 5-7 6-1 6-1 to win her first Kremlin Cup title today.
Dementieva, who turns 26 on Monday, came out storming after losing the first set, breaking the fourth-seeded American three times in each of the next two sets to claim her first career win over the former world number one in emphatic fashion.
The 14th-ranked Muscovite had not even won a set off Williams in their four previous meetings.
Playing in front of a 10,000-strong home crowd, Dementieva, runner-up here in 2001 and in 2004, was able to overcome her nerves to clinch a breakthrough victory and the 2,000 first prize on her second opportunity when Williams's forehand sailed wide.
Top seed and defending champion Nikolay Davydenko of Russia meets fourth-seeded Frenchman and 2002 winner Paul-Henri Mathieu in the men's final later today.
REUTERS BJR BST1727