Every silver lining has a cloud for Dementieva

On another sunny day at the Australian Open for Russia's women, not to mention that nation's flourishing male, Nikolay Davydenko, it was somehow inevitable that a cloud was not far away from the head of Elena Dementieva. As Anastasia Myskina enjoyed a walkover into the fourth round, Dementieva, who lost in the finals of both the French and US Opens last year, was given an almighty fight before she joined Myskina and five others from her country in the last 16.

On another sunny day at the Australian Open for Russia's women, not to mention that nation's flourishing male, Nikolay Davydenko, it was somehow inevitable that a cloud was not far away from the head of Elena Dementieva. As Anastasia Myskina enjoyed a walkover into the fourth round, Dementieva, who lost in the finals of both the French and US Opens last year, was given an almighty fight before she joined Myskina and five others from her country in the last 16.

Slovakia's Daniela Hantuchova, who once dwelt at five in the world rankings, rediscovered some of that old form and zest to extend Dementieva for two hours 43 minutes before the sixth seed staggered through 7-5 5-7 6-4. Even then, it was a victory which came courtesy of Hantuchova's whopping 78 unforced errors. "I was playing very bad," admitted Dementieva. "I was very defensive, but I still did it."

The third-seeded Myskina's strolling progress came at the expense of the American, Lisa Raymond, who pulled out because of a strained stomach muscle incurred during a doubles match on Friday. "I'm happy that I'm in the next round, but I'm not really happy," Myskina revealed. "I like to play." Now Myskina, holder of the French title, will face someone from that country, Nathalie Dechy, a 6-3 6-3 winner over Italy's Francesca Schiavone, for a place in the quarter-finals.

A quarter-final between the Americans giants, Lindsay Davenport and Venus Williams, moved closer as both clocked up routine wins. Davenport, the 28-year-old world No 1, had to dip into her reservoirs of experience to see off the robust challenge of the Czech Nicole Vaidisova, aged only 15 and appearing in just her second Grand Slam, 6-4 6-2, while Williams saw off the Israeli, Anna Smashnova, 6-3 6-0 in exactly an hour.

Davenport, seeking to add a second Australian title to the one she collected five years back, praised Vaidisova for her lack of fear. She might have added lack of respect, too, since, according to the American "Nicole came out swinging from the start." In her present ethereal state, however, it will need more than that to trouble Davenport, whose plans to retire at the end of last season were put on hold following a rousing revival of form in the second half of 2004. "The turn of events in the last six months were a bigger shock to me than anyone else," said Davenport. "I was fully ready to see the twilight of my career, but something changed last summer and I started playing at a very high level. Tennis started becoming really exciting again and I felt like I really had a chance to do some great things.

"Midway through last year I wouldn't even have thought I would be here in Australia, never mind as No 1 seed and playing good tennis again." For the first time in a long time, Australia have a representative and a hope in the women's event. Alicia Molik, who has shot up the rankings in recent months and is seeded 10th, equalled her best showing at a Grand Slam by beating the unseeded Russian Tatiana Panova 6-3 6-2 to set up a fourth-round contest with Venus Williams.

Hoping to become the first Australian woman to win her home title since Chris O'Neil in 1978, Molik, who won the Sydney title and is unbeaten this year, blitzed Panova with 11 aces and, looking forward to the Venus match, said, "Bring it on", despite having lost her previous three matches with Venus.

The older of the Williams sisters, who is searching for her first Grand Slam title since the US Open in 2001, started by dropping her first service game to Smashnova but after breaking back in the fourth game ran away with the match, the only blot being a total of 26 unforced errors. "For me, it's all about consistency and errors," she conceded. "Even if I make a lot of errors, usually I'm winning the match." She acknowledges, though, that meeting an Australian on home ground will be a test en route to that Davenport match-up. "This will be a huge match for Alicia in Australia. But I've played a lot of huge matches in my life and I couldn't class this as the largest."

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
musicBand's first new record for 20 years has some tough acts to follow
News
peopleAt least it's for a worthwhile cause
Voices
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
voicesMaybe the new app will make it more normal to reach out to strangers
News
Liam Payne has attacked the media for reporting his tweet of support to Willie Robertson and the subsequent backlash from fans
peopleBut One Direction star insists he is not homophobic
Life and Style
healthFor Pure-O OCD sufferers this is a reality they live in
Life and Style
Sexual health charities have campaigned for the kits to be regulated
healthAmerican woman who did tells parents there is 'nothing to be afraid of'
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments