Everyone got the result they wanted yesterday when Russian superstar Maria Sharapova beat her compatriot Elena Dementieva 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 in the semi-final of the Watsons Water Champions Challenge. The Russian duo played inconsistently throughout the match at Victoria Park with both players losing serve regularly, but fans and organisers alike were just happy to see their marquee star make it safely into today's final. Playing in front of a sell-out crowd, the world number two overcame a slow start to run out a comfortable winner in the end. 'It could have gone either way as Elena played some solid tennis but I'm just happy to make it to the final,' Sharapova said. 'I got stronger as the game went on and I put more pressure on her serve which is her weak point. I wanted to play as many matches as possible here before going to the Australian Open so everything has gone to plan. 'To play as many different players as I can and to experience different situations was my goal. This happened against Elena because I was a set down and I had to find a way to win. So I couldn't be happier with the way my preparation is going.' Dementieva was never going to be a pushover. The world number eight has won six WTA tournaments, and in 2004 reached two grand slam finals where she was beaten in the French Open decider by compatriot Anastasia Myskina and in another all-Russian final by Svetlana Kuznetsova at the US Open. The 25-year-old was always going to give Sharapova a sterner workout than she had against the gutsy but outclassed Yan Zi in the first round. And so it proved in the first set when she raced into a 5-3 lead only to have her serve broken by Sharapova. However, Dementieva broke back immediately in the next game to clinch it 6-4. This was as good as it got for her though, as the loss of the first set turned out to be just the shock Sharapova needed to jolt her into action and she ran away with the next two sets 6-2, 6-3 for a deserved victory. Over recent years Sharapova has at times had a strained relationship with her fellow Russian players who came up through the tough Russian system. Sharapova has trained in Florida from the age of six. Dementieva was no different, once even claiming in The Independent that the Florida-based double grand slam winner 'was not really Russian' because she rarely visits her native land and hadn't ever played a major tournament there (until the 2005 Kremlin Cup). If there still remained any animosity between the two they hid it well. 'When you play an exhibition game there's not as much pressure on you. You just try and enjoy every moment on the court and that's what I did today,' Dementieva added. 'In the end she played more consistently than me, especially on her serve and that's something that I'll have to work on.' As far as Sharapova was concerned she gained no more satisfaction out of beating Dementieva than any of the other Russian players. 'These days there are so many Russian girls and we're playing against each other so often that whether we win is not that big a deal,' she said.