Dementieva continues Russian roulette
Saturday 27 June 2009
If it were not for the strawberries, cream and Pimms, Elena Dementieva might begin to think she was competing in her domestic championship. Russia's Olympic champion has already faced two compatriots this week and has a third lined up.
Given there are 21 Russians in the women's draw this is perhaps not so surprising but Dementieva is meeting unexpected opposition. Yesterday she played Regina Kulikova, one of only two surviving qualifiers. In the last 16 she will face Elena Vesnina who yesterday put out the No 14 seed, Slovakia's Dominika Cibulkova.
Cibulkova lists "clay and hard" as her favourite court surfaces and there is no likelihood of grass challenging that view after her 7-5, 4-6, 6-4 defeat. This year's French Open semi-finalist had never won a grass court tournament match until this week. Nevertheless Vesnina, ranked 14 places lower, was delighted at her victory. Dementieva will be an altogether tougher challenge. The No 4 seed dealt ruthlessly with Kulikova. The world 190 did break Dementieva's serve twice, but only held her own once in losing 6-1, 6-2 in just under an hour.
Dementieva will at least avoid a Russian in the quarters after seventh-seeded compatriot Vera Zvonareva withdrew from her tie against France's Virginie Razzano with an ankle injury. Elsewhere Victoria Azarenka and Nadia Petrova progressed as expected to a fourth-round meeting.
Laura Robson and Georgie Stoop were unable to repeat their epic win against Svetlana Kuznetsova and Amélie Mauresmo, losing in straight sets. The other surviving Britons, Jocelyn Rae and Melanie South, also went out despite winning the first set against 12th seeds Anna-Lena Groenefeld and Vania King.
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