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Dementieva gets easy ride

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Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:37

The 27-year-old Russian barely had to break sweat to thrash compatriot Regina Kulikova 6-1 6-2 on Court One and advance to the fourth round for the fourth time in the last five years.

“I took some time off after the French Open and was working on my fitness,” explained Dementieva, who will face another Russian, Elena Vesnina, in the next round on Monday. “I was more focused on the footwork and the core building exercises.”

She added: “I just started to practise a couple of days before Eastbourne and went there early to get used to the surface. It’s really worked for me.”

Kulikova, who had come through qualifying and then won two matches on her grand slam debut, won the toss but precious little else in the early stages.

The 20-year-old managed just four points in the first four games, losing her serve twice in the process, but at least saved one set point in the sixth game to avoid a complete whitewash.

There had been audible groans of despair from the crowd over the one-sided nature of the opening set, and the prospects of an actual tennis match breaking out looked slim when Kulikova again lost her serve at the start of the second.

Surprisingly the world number 191 broke straight back to level the scores, only to less surprisingly then lose her serve once more.

Dementieva is not usually renowned for her mental toughness either, but the 27-year-old was not being tested at all and yet another break of serve – sealed by a double fault – gave her a 4-1 lead.

Kulikova finally showed glimpses of her ability to break back, but promptly lost her serve for the sixth time – this time to love and sealed with another double fault – and Dementieva served out to seal a comprehensive victory.

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