Russian Olympic champion Elena Dementieva has revealed that the absence of her sick mother has motivated her to go for her first Grand Slam title at the Australian Open.
While the world No.4 would not give details of her mother Vera's illness, she admitted she had been forced to stay at home in Moscow, leaving her with an emotion-charged fight through the first major tournament of the year.
Dementieva, 27, and her mother, who is also her coach, have been virtually inseparable on the tour for a decade.
"I feel good, the only thing I miss is my mum because she always travels with me," an emotional Dementieva said.
"She couldn't come this time because of medical reasons, she doesn't feel good and it feels strange without her and even when I come to the locker room, people are asking where's my mum.
"People have been asking why I've been playing so good, I'm just trying to please my mum. I just want her to feel just a little better. She has done such a good job helping me for all these years and she is always with me - she's my mum," she said.