Injured Dementieva doubtful for Wimbledon

By Simon Cambers

PARIS (Reuters) - Elena Dementieva could miss Wimbledon later this month after retiring from her French Open semi-final on Thursday with a calf injury.

The fifth-seeded Russian quit after losing the first set 7-6 against Italian Francesca Schiavone.

"I am not sure if I will be able to play at Wimbledon," Dementieva told reporters. "I am not going to (the WTA event in) Eastbourne because of the injury."

Dementieva said she first suffered the problem to her left calf in a second-round win over Anabel Medina Garrigues of Spain and tried everything to recover for her meeting with Schiavone.

"It's very painful to even walk," she said. "I got it after my second match and I aggravated it.

"Today it was just a sharp pain. It was a bit too much. I couldn't really move on the court."

The Russian, beaten in the final in Paris in 2004, said it would not have made any difference had she won the first set.

"I was just going on the court trying to play, trying to fight, because it is a very special moment," she said. "So even with this pain I was trying to play but I don't think I could go longer than that."


Schiavone looked surprised when Dementieva came up to her and said she could not play on, perhaps because her opponent had not even called the trainer.

Dementieva said there was nothing anyone could have done to relieve the pain.

"With a tear you just have to try to play with this pain," she said. "I had medication, I had a painkiller, I had anti-inflammatories and all the tape I could try.

"But nothing was working at that point. So I don't think I could have been given something extra to make a magic move.

"Against Francesca you really have to move and you have to run. My biggest weapon is my footwork, my movement. With this kind of injury it was impossible to do."

Dementieva was appearing in her ninth grand-slam semi-final and said another near-miss was doubly frustrating.

"I could have had to stop in the third round and I got to the semi-final," she said. "It is disappointing to get injuries and not to use this opportunity.

"But what can I do? Injuries are part of the game and this is how it is. I cannot change anything."

(Editing by Tony Jimenez)