Serena still young at heart



Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:38

Standing in Serena’s way today is 19-year-old Victoria Azarenka, the eighth seed who became the first woman from Belarus to reach the quarter-finals since Natasha Zvereva in 1998 when she defeated Nadia Petrova 7-6 2-6 6-3 in the fourth round yesterday.

“She’s obviously a good player and she’s really young,” said Serena. “She has nothing to lose, this is Wimbledon.”

She added: “When you’re playing the girls who are really young, they really want it, as bad as I still want it. It always makes for a good fight.

“It’s good to be young and hungry. It was great when I was 19, 20. I think I’m still in a great position because I’m really young in life. I feel really young out there on the court still so I’m excited.”

Azarenka, who has won three WTA Tour titles this year, knows she will have to produce the match of her life to halt her opponent, who has yet to drop a set so far in the tournament.

“Of course it’s a big match,” Azarenka said. “I just have to stay focused and just keep playing my game, not worry about the fact that I’m playing Serena in the quarter-finals.

Top seed Dinara Safina is first on Centre Court today against Sabine Lisicki, the 19-year-old German who is one of two unseeded players in the last eight.

Lisicki followed up earlier victories over top-30 ranked Russians Anna Chakvetadze and Svetlana Kuznetsova with a 6-4 6-4 win against ninth seed Caroline Wozniacki, of Denmark, to reach her first grand slam quarter-final.

Safina produced her best tennis of the year to see off Amelie Mauresmo in the first match to be played under the Centre Court roof and will seek to avenge a shock defeat by Lisicki in the 2008 Australian Open. The other tie today sees fourth seed Elena Dementieva take on the unseeded Italian Francesca Schiavone.


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