Dementieva in a hurry
Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:37
Dementieva raced through the opening set in 24 minutes and although debutant Kulikova improved slightly in the second, the Olympic champion easily secured a 6-1 6-2 victory on Court One.
“I think it was a good match, we’d never played before but I felt from the beginning I was very focused and aggressive and satisfied with the way I was playing,” said Dementieva.
“Even though it was 6-1 6-2 we had some tough rallies in the second set and I think it was a good test for the next round. It was great being in the semis here for the first time last year and hopefully that experience will help 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. She will face either 14th seed Dominika Cibulkova or Elena Vesnina in the last 16.