Dementieva ends Navarro run
Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:16
The 20-year-old Spaniard, who defeated Venus Williams in the second round, appeared overawed by the occasion at the start, losing the opening four games.
But once she got that first game under her belt her confidence grew and she pushed the Russian fourth seed in the intense heat in Rod Laver Arena.
The sun certainly seemed to be affecting the Dementieva serve and in the first set alone she made five double faults – four coming in the mammoth sixth game that went through 11 deuces before a wayward Suarez Navarro backhand allowed the Russian to close it out at the seventh time of asking.
The conditions on court were punishing with the mercury soon pushing 40 degrees Celsius in Melbourne, which is in the grip of its biggest heat wave in a century.
It appeared the match would be a quick affair when Suarez Navarro, who also reached the quarter-finals of the French Open on her grand slam debut last year, got broken twice at the start of the first set. But once she settled down and found her range her blistering forehands and ripping backhands started to hit the mark.
Suarez Navarro dug deep to get on the board and had five break point opportunities in the epic sixth game which she failed to convert and although she held her next service game Dementieva took little time in serving out the set.
The unseeded Spaniard also got off to a shaky start in the second set with her backhand letting her down on the way to being broken. She spurned another two break point chances in the second game as well before holding serve to trail 2-1.
Dementieva, looking to reach her fifth grand slam semi-final, held serve and got her double break in the fifth thanks to a cross court forehand winner for a 4-1 lead. Then after another tough service game, in which she came from a break down and then took three attempts to close it out, she was made to wait for her own service game to close out the match.
The victory extends her winning run to 15 matches following tournament wins in Auckland and Sydney prior to the Melbourne grand slam. She will play either Serena Williams or fellow Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova in the semi-final.