SYDNEY — Top-seeded Serena Williams struggled in the Sydney International final Friday, committing 40 unforced errors in a 6-3, 6-2 loss to fifth-seeded Elena Dementieva of Russia.
Williams also appeared to hurt her left knee during the match but later downplayed any suggestion of an injury. She said she still plans to play singles and doubles with her sister, Venus, at the Australian Open next week.
“I think she played well,” Serena Williams said, “I made about a thousand and two unforced errors … it’s better now than later, I guess.”
When asked about her left leg, which she appeared to favor during the match, she said: “I was struggling a little bit, but, you know, I hate to make any excuse. I think she definitely deserves all the credit for what she did.”
Williams said she felt great heading into the season’s first major, where she is the defending champion.
“I feel like I have more than enough matches under my belt,” she said. “I feel like I’m really ready and fit. Even though I didn’t play great today, I feel like I can play much better.”
Earlier, former Australian Open finalist Marcos Baghdatis advanced to the final with a 6-4, 6-7 (7), 7-6 (5) victory over Mardy Fish of the U.S. Baghdatis will play Richard Gasquet, who beat French compatriot Julien Benneteau 6-3, 7-5.
The 28-year-old Dementieva became the first woman to defend her Sydney title since Martina Hingis in 2001-2002.