Aussie Open champ Mauresmo advances in Paris

Updated: February 9, 2006, 2:49 PM ET
Associated Press

PARIS -- Australian Open champion Amelie Mauresmo beat Vera Dushevina of Russia 6-2, 6-2 Thursday to reach the Gaz de France quarterfinals.

The top-seeded Frenchwoman will meet defending champion Dinara Safina in a replay of last year's final. The Russian defeated France's Virginie Razzano 6-4, 6-3 in the second round Wednesday.

"I took things seriously right from the start," Mauresmo said. "I focused on my game, on what I needed to do today."

Mauresmo will be joined in the quarters by Nadia Petrova, Patty Schnyder and Elena Dementieva.

Petrova, a Russian seeded third, defeated Anna Smashnova of Israel 6-4, 6-1. Schnyder of Switzerland, seeded fourth, beat qualifier Tsvetana Pironkova of Bulgaria 6-2, 6-4. Dementieva, seeded fifth, edged Nathalie Dechy of France 7-6 (3), 6-4 and will next play Schnyder. Petrova will meet the winner of the match between France's Tatiana Golovin against India's Sania Mirza.

Mauresmo, ranked No. 2, broke Dushevina three times in the first set with heavy topspin. She had no trouble in the second set, capitalizing on powerful forehands and backhands.

"I played at a good level, while preventing her from developing her game," said Mauresmo, who acknowledged a lapse of concentration at 5-0 in the first set.

In the Dechy-Dementieva match, both players held serve to force a tiebreaker. A passing shot and forehand winner helped Dementieva lead 4-2, and the Russian won 7-3 on unforced errors by Dechy.

Both players dropped serve before Dementieva finished off the match with a consistent serve and strong forehand. She converted her first match point with a return winner on the line.

Schnyder got the better of Pironkova in baseline exchanges. She converted three of seven break points in the first set, but needed until the ninth game in the second to break again.

Smashnova dropped the second game on a double-fault. Petrova held to lead 3-0 lead but couldn't convert break points in the next game. Smashnova broke back in the seventh game and tied it 4-4. But a wide backhand by Smashnova at 5-4 helped Petrova win a tight first set. Petrova took control in the second set, breaking Smashnova twice.


Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press

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