After knocking out Venus Williams, Lisa Raymond was not going to let a 16-year-old upstart deprive her of a place in the Australian Open quarter-finals. And so Tatiana Golovin's charmed run at Melbourne Park came to an abrupt end yesterday, as she was steamrollered by the American in 42 minutes.
Raymond won 6-2, 6-0 against the French teenager, who had shot to prominence by eliminating two seeds, the No 14, Anna Smashnova-Pistolesi, and the No 23, Lina Krasnoroutskaya - both in straight sets - en route to the fourth round of only her second Grand Slam.
Yesterday the limelight, the expectation and the physical demands of her three previous matches told on the precociously talented Golovin, who turned 16 last Sunday. Playing on a show court - the Vodafone Arena, the No 1 court here - for the first time in her career, she struggled against the 30-year-old American, serving six double faults and producing 26 enforced errors.
"I'm very disappointed because I didn't play well at all," said the world No 354, who was given a wild card under a reciprocal agreement between the Australian and French Opens to ease the passage of promising juniors into the senior tour. "It wasn't the best match to finish on, but she played very well and I wasn't moving very well, so she took advantage of that." Golovin, who lost in the first round of the French Open last year, added. "I've had a superb week here, and it's been great experience. I know how hard I'm going to have to work. I need to be more aggressive, work on my serve."
The Moscow-born teenager impressed observers with her unaffected manner and self-possession as well as her talent. She spent several years at the Nick Bollettieri academy in Florida, and her coach, Pierre Cherret, calls her a "cultural cocktail", with the toughness of an Eastern European, American will-to-win and French joie de vivre.
Raymond, a doubles specialist and the No 25 seed, will play Patty Schnyder in only her second Grand Slam singles quarter-final. Schnyder, the No 22 seed who beat Nathalie Dechy 6-2, 6-4 yesterday, has not played in the quarter-finals of a major since 1998. The other quarter-final in their half of the draw will be contested by Kim Clijsters, the No 2 seed, and Anastasia Myskina, the No 6, who beat Silvia Farina Elia and Chanda Rubin respectively yesterday.Reuse content