INDIAN WELLS, Calif. -- Russian Elena Dementieva said she thinks the outcome of the upcoming semifinal clash between
sisters Venus and Serena Williams will be their father's call,
fanning flames of rumors that have been denied by the Williams
family in the past.
Dementieva suggested that the semifinal winner might be
decided before the first ball was struck after she lost in
straight sets to Venus Williams in the quarterfinals of the
Tennis Masters Series event at Indian Wells event Wednesday.
"I don't know what Richard (Williams) thinks about it. I
think he will decide who's going to win tomorrow," Dementieva
said of the Williams sisters' father and coach.
Dementieva said she suspected foul play when she watched
the sisters 1999 Lipton final, which Venus won 6-1, 4-6, 6-4.
"I remember when they played in the Lipton," said
Dementieva. "If you saw the match, it was so funny."
On Wednesday, Serena Williams handed Lindsay
Davenport, ranked No. 2 in the world, her worst defeat in the last six years, destroying the
second seed 6-1, 6-2. Venus Williams, the third seed, then bounced Dementieva
The sisters have met five times in tournament competition
with Venus owning a 4-1 edge, including victories at the 1998
Australian Open and Wimbledon last year, when she stopped a
red-hot Serena in straight sets. They are scheduled to play Thursday night at 9 ET (ESPN).
This was not the first time that players have questioned
whether the outcome of the Williams matches were decided by
their authoritative father beforehand. Martina
Hingis once said that the outcome of their matches is a "family
At Wimbledon last year, Serena came into their semifinal
red hot, having lost just 13 games in five matches and was
favored by many to win it. She had won the first Grand Slam
title in the family at the 1999 U.S. Open and appeared to be on
But Serena fell apart and Venus won 6-2, 7-6. The contest
ended when Serena double-faulted, prompting Venus to console
her at the net with a pat on the back.
Before the tearful Serena exited the court, Venus helped
her younger sister pack her bags. Venus went on to win the
title over Davenport.
"I thought Venus was going to win," Davenport said
Wednesday of that Wimbledon sibling clash, mildly suggesting
that it was Venus' turn.
"I just thought that Serena had won a Grand Slam title,
whether it was on purpose or subconsciously or whatever, Venus
was going to win the match. That was my opinion," Davenport
The Williamses, who were not immediately available to
comment on Dementieva's inflammatory statements, have strongly
denied the allegation in the past. Send this story to a friend | Most sent stories
|When Venus Williams, left, and her sister Serena play in singles, Elena Dementieva says their father decides beforehand who will win.||
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