Myskina leads Russian charge at Flushing Meadows

Published on Aug 31, 2003 10:55 AM IST

Anastasia Myskina survived a two-hour battle with Spain's Maria Sanchez Lorenzo on Saturday to become the fourth Russian woman to reach the last 16 of the US Open.

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PTI | ByLaura MacInnis (Reuters), New York

Anastasia Myskina survived a two-hour battle with Spain's Maria Sanchez Lorenzo on Saturday to become the fourth Russian woman to reach the last 16 of the US Open.

The seventh seed's win made it the first time a quartet of Russians had reached the fourth round of the women's singles at the Open, repeating the feat they achieved at this year's Wimbledon.

Myskina joined compatriots Elena Dementieva, Elena Likhovtseva and 19th seed Nadia Petrova.

If Marat Safin's sister Dinara beats Luxembourg's Claudine Schaul in the third round, it will be the first time that five Russian women have made it through to the fourth round of any grand slam event.

Myskina said she was delighted that her countrywomen were doing so well at the Open.

"I'm really happy that everybody is playing well right now, and doing their best here," she said after scrambling to a 2-6 6-4 6-3 win over the 53rd ranked Sanchez Lorenzo.

"We just try to fight for every point and try to do our best on the court.

Asked if she believed whether the Russians could dominate women's tennis, she said: "It's going to be hard. I mean, compared to the Americans, it's really hard. But we try. We will see."

The 22-year-old Myskina started her contest against Sanchez Lorenzo badly.

She dropped her first two service games and struggled to find her rhythm throughout the opening set.

But the Russian seized control with an early break in the second set and held on to oust her opponent.

"In the first set I think she played really, really well. She crashed the ball and I was just not ready maybe," said Myskina.

"Then I found a way to win and that was very good.

"I just tried to put the ball in play because if I would have hit the ball hard against her, I think that's just what she wanted from me."

The pair exchanged thunderous baseline rallies as both players tried to gain the upper hand.

With dark clouds hanging ominously over the Grandstand court, Myskina pulled away in the decider to book a meeting with Mary Pierce just before torrential rain stopped play at Flushing Meadows.

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