MELBOURNE, Australia -- Venus Williams reached the
Australian Open quarterfinals for the first time in five years,
beating Poland's Marta Domachowska 6-4, 6-4 on Monday at Melbourne
The Wimbledon champion will face fourth-ranked Ana Ivanovic in
Williams, in her first tournament since withdrawing from the
season-ending champion at Madrid in November due to illness, lost
the 2003 Australian final to sister Serena and hadn't gone beyond
the fourth round in the season-opening major since.
"I have come close, then this girl named Williams took my dream
away," Venus said of her Australian aspirations.
Defending champion Serena Williams moved into the quarterfinals
on Sunday along with top-ranked Justine Henin and fifth-seeded
Maria Sharapova, a finalist last year.
Serena Williams will play No. 3 Jelana Jankovic, and Henin will
Ivanovic had a 6-1, 7-6 (2) victory earlier Monday over
Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki and was looking forward to her
"Definitely a tough opponent. Last two Grand Slams I lost to
her. Exactly the time for some revenge," Ivanovic said. "I think
I'm a little bit different player than I was last time I played
dominated the first set by smashing 15 winners to Wozniacki's
none and winning 76 percent of her first service points.
After the pair held for two service games each in the
second set, the 17-year-old from Copenhagen finally broke in
the fifth game and held two set points in the 10th, but
Ivanovic broke to level at 5-5.
The Serb held serve and had a match point on Wozniacki's,
but the young Dane managed to force a tiebreak.
However, Ivanovic's experience told and she ran out a 7-2
tiebreak winner when Wozniacki's service return failed to clear
"She had nothing to lose, so she was really dangerous in
the second set," Ivanovic said.
"I started fighting a little bit more ... [and] I'm really
happy I managed to keep my composure in the end of that second
set and be calm on those set points and still manage to win
In the adjacent quarter of the draw, No. 9 Daniela Hantuchova
needed four match points before finishing off Maria Kirilenko 1-6,
6-4, 6-4. Hantuchova will play Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska, a 1-6,
7-5, 6-0 winner over No. 14 Nadia Petrova.
Radwanska became the first Polish woman to reach a Grand Slam quarterfinal and at 18, Radwanska is the youngest of the eight
Petrova led 6-1 3-0 but a groin strain
hampered her movement in the third set and Radwanska stormed
back to win.
Having upset No. 2 seed Svetlana Kuznetsova in the
previous round, Radwanska looked like she might be suffering a
reaction as Petrova won nine of the first 10 games.
Radwanska had been struggling in the swirling wind but
suddenly she found her game, edging out Petrova in the second
set and ripping through the decider for the loss of just four
Petrova said she had first felt the injury in the opening
game of the deciding set.
"I couldn't do anything because I couldn't run at the end
of the third set, so that was it," Petrova said.
With sister Serena shouting encouragement, Williams had her
hands full with Domachowska.
Far from being intimidated by Williams' power, Domachowska
matched it with her own -- she had aces on three of her first five
serves -- along with a variety of spins.
Williams often found herself on the defensive as Domachowska
swung for winners at every opportunity.
Williams' right thigh was strapped, and Domachowska gave it a
workout, keeping her constantly sprinting from side to side.
"I got a little something going on, but it's not going to hurt
anybody," Williams coyly said of the strapping.
Williams had to fight back twice from service breaks in the first
set, getting back on serve when Domachowska double-faulted on break
point, then took the set when the Polish woman netted a
straightforward forehand volley.
Williams got the first break of the second set to pull ahead
5-3. Domachowska fended off a match point before breaking back.
Domachowska set up a second match point for Williams with one
error while serving 30-30 in the next game, then netted a forehand
to finish it off.
"It's good, it gets me ready for the rounds going forward,"
Williams said of the close match.
Information from The Associated Press and Reuters was used in this report.