Amelie Mauresmo breezes into Paris last eight

9th February 2007, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Feb 8, 2007 (AFP) - Second seed Amelie Mauresmo showed she was inno mood to give up her title lightly as she breezed into the quarter-finals of the 600,000-dollar WTA Paris Indoor Open here Thursday.

PARIS, Feb 8, 2007 (AFP) - Second seed Amelie Mauresmo showed she was inno mood to give up her title lightly as she breezed into the quarter-finals of the 600,000-dollar WTA Paris Indoor Open here Thursday.

The US Open champion dominated compatriot Nathalie Dechy in a second round tie before sealing a 6-3, 6-2 victory with a thumping ace.

"I'm quite happy with that. It showed I'm getting stronger than I was in December and January," said Mauresmo afterwards.

The Frenchwoman has had a disappointing start to the season, losing in the quarter-finals of the Sydney International to Jelena Jankovic and then falling in the last 16 of the Australian Open against Czech youngster Lucie Safarova.

Mauresmo was quickly out of the blocks and moved 3-0 ahead but she lost her very next service game to love in her only blip throughout an otherwise faultless performance.

She quickly regained the upper hand to take the first set and after breaking in the opening game of the second she never looked back.

"I haven't played much these last few months so I'm trying to put things back in place," said Mauresmo.

"I don't think it will take too long because I feel good physically."

The world number three beat fellow Frenchwoman Mary Pierce to win the title last year and has two victories from five finals here.

Lucie Safarova provided the only shock of the day with a 6-4, 6-2 upset of fifth seed Nicole Vaidisova.

The 17-year-old Australian Open semi-finalist lost her opening service game on a double fault and never got to grips with her left-handed countrywoman.

The towering Vaidisova is known for her big serve but it was Safarova's service game that was unyielding and she closed out the match with two successive aces.

Fourth seed Nadia Petrova also had little trouble progressing to the quarter-finals.

The big-serving Russian eased past diminutive German Martina Muller 6-1, 6-2 in the pair's second round mismatch.

Petrova will face compatriot Dinara Safina in the last eight after the latter emerged from a marathon battle Wednesday with a 2-6, 6-2, 7-6 victory over France's Camille Pin.

Petrova never looked in any danger as her greater power and harder ground-strokes proved too much for Muller on the fast indoor surface.

French teenager Tatiana Golovin also had little trouble in setting up a quarter-final clash with top seed and world number two Justine Henin.

The Moscow-born 19-year-old eased to a 6-4, 6-4 victory over world number 100 Ekaterina Bychkova, who shocked sixth seed Patty Schnyder of Switzerland in the first round.

Golovin earned an early break in the first set but admitted she then lost concentration as she was broken back before reasserting herself against her Russian opponent, who became increasingly frustrated with her own wild ground strokes.

Golovin is now looking forward to the test ahead, although she is not taking Henin lightly despite the Belgian former world number one's tentative start to the this tournament following three months out.

"Justine has made many comebacks like this before and she has won Grand Slams," Golovin said wryly.

"I've always played well here and I just have to take my chances. I've always been motivated by playing big matches against great players in front of big crowds.

"That's what I'm here for so I'm very excited."

The pair have played once before on Henin's favoured clay surface in Charleston two years ago, the Belgian winning 7-6, 7-5.

Eighth-seeded Russian Anna Chakvetadze came back from a set down to beat rugged Spaniard Anabel Medina Garrigues 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 and will face Mauresmo next.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news, Tennis

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