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Australian Open gallery, Day 8

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Originally published on: 26/02/10 15:17

The womens action at Melbourne Park on Monday was dominated by withdrawals, not that Serena Williams would have minded.

The nine-time grand slam champ lost the first set before her opponent, Victoria Azarenka, quit their contest with a mystery virus.

Azarenka was joined in the Melbourne Park sick room by Chinas Zheng Jie, who retired midway through her last 16 clash with Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova, Serenas quarter-final opponent.

Olympic champion Elena Dementieva is playing so well she doesnt need ailing opponents to help her progress at the moment.

She was in devastating form while thrashing Slovakian Dominika Cibulkova 6-2, 6-2 and plays Spanish surprise package Carla Suarez Navarro in the quarters.

Meanwhile, any tennis fans that hadnt heard of Fernando Verdasco before today certainly will have by now.

The 25-year-old Spaniard blew Andy Murrays grand slam aspirations right out of Melbourne Park on Monday with a five-set victory over the world No.4.

While Fernando was doing the business on Hisense Arena, another rather handy Spanish lefty was dropping bombs on Rod Laver Arena.

Rafa Nadal has looked every inch the world No.1 so far during this tournament, and he notched up another convincing victory on Monday, this time against big-hitting Chilean Fernando Gonzalez.

Nadal and Verdasco were joined by French duo Gilles Simon and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the last eight as they scored victories over Gael Monfils and James Blake respectively.

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