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26 Jan 2009 08:08
Elena Dementieva downplayed any suggestions she was the favourite for the Australian Open title after she romped into the quarterfinals with a 6-2, 6-2 demolition of Slovakia’s Dominika Cibulkova on Monday.
The victory, in just 76 minutes, was the 14th in a row for the fourth-seeded Russian, who won the Auckland and Sydney tournaments before arriving at Melbourne Park.
She is unbeaten in 2009 and plays Spain’s unseeded Carla Suarez Navarro in the last eight.
It is the first time she has made the Australian Open quarterfinals, where she will be joined by three other Russians, headed by third seed Dinara Safina.
“Dinara looks like she’s in a good shape,” Dementieva told reporters when asked on whether she was a favourite for the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup.
“She’s made the biggest improvement since last year, so she’s probably the favourite to win.
“But there is still Serena [Williams] and there are a lot of good players here. It’s going to be a tough competition.
“I mean, I’m not thinking who’s the favorite; I’m just trying to take one match at a time and be focused and play my best.”
Dementieva had initially complained after her first round win at Melbourne Park that she was feeling the affects of so many matches, though on Monday the Russian said she was now pleased to have played both warm-up tournaments.
“I think it was the right decision to come to Auckland and play a smaller tournament in the beginning just to get confidence and just to play some matches there.
“I mean, it just feels good so far.”
Dementieva had a nervous start against the 18th seeded Cibulkova when she suffered an early break.
After breaking the Slovak to take a 3-2 first set lead, however, she rattled off nine straight games and was serving for the match before Cibulkova broke to delay the inevitable for 10 minutes.
The Russian sealed victory with a backhand winner on her third match point.
“I think it was a good match, you know, very solid game from the beginning till the end.
“I’m just very satisfied with the way I was playing.” - Reuters
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