The 2008 Qatar Telecom German Open was a women's tennis event that was played from May 5 to May 11, 2008. It was one of two Tier I events that took place on red clay in the build-up to the second Grand Slam of the year, the French Open. It was played at the Rot-Weiss Tennis Club in the German capital of Berlin. The tournaments offered a total prize fund of US$1,300,000 across all rounds.
World number one Justine Henin, the three-time French Open defending champion, was the tournament's top seed. She was hoping to win this event for the fourth time after collecting titles here in 2002, 2003 and 2005. Defending champion Ana Ivanovic was Henin's biggest threat for the title as the number two seed, with Jelena Janković and Svetlana Kuznetsova rounding out the top four seeds. Fifth seed Serena Williams was also a big threat for the title; she had won her last three tournaments and is a former French Open champion. Russian pair Anna Chakvetadze and Elena Dementieva brought the field up to seven of the world's top ten players.Maria Sharapova and Daniela Hantuchová were also due to play the event but it was announced that both had pulled out on April 30.
Dinara Safina (l) and Elena Dementieva (r) shake hands after the final.
The tournament was won by Dinara Safina, who started the tournament as the thirteenth seed. She enjoyed the best week of her career to win her first ever Tier I title. In the third round, she beat top seed Justine Henin in a match that turned out to be the last before she retired, her second victory over a world number one, and followed it up by stopping Serena Williams's 17-match winning streak. She defeated Elena Dementieva (who had defeated defending champion Ivanovic in the semi-finals) in the final, in the 14th all-Russian final on the WTA Tour, and the third of five in the 2008 season (Dementieva would go on to beat Safina in the final of the Olympics).
Ana Ivanovic was the only top six seed to reach the semifinals in a tournament littered with upsets. Henin and Williams lost the aforementioned matches to Safina, third seed Svetlana Kuznetsova lost to Alyona Bondarenko, Jelena Janković lost to Elena Dementieva and Anna Chakvetadze went down in her first match to Victoria Azarenka, who eventually made her first ever Tier I semifinal. Ivanovic, for her part, was defeated in the semi-finals by Elena Dementieva; the defeat dropped her to World No. 3 behind Henin and Maria Sharapova at the conclusion of the tournament.