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Ana waited 20 months to earn her first victory over a top 10-ranked player when she beat Victoria Azarenka yesterday – but she had to wait less than 24 hours to record her second, as she defeated sixth Elena Dementieva for the first time in six attempts. With this win Ana reaches the quarter-finals of the Internazionali BNL d'Italia for the first time in her career as she continues her eye-opening return to form.
Ana overwhelmed the world No.6 from the very beginning. An early break to love was the forerunner of some fabulous return games from the 22-year old. With a dozen aggressive returns on the Russian’s second serve, she won every single point on that second serve during the first set.
Ana broke Dementieva in the opening game of the second set. Indeed it wasn't until halfway through the second set that the current Olympic champion managed to hold serve, such was the aggression with which Ana was returning.
Patiently building up points with a series of furious forehands that put Dementieva on the run, Ana added some fine net approaches to help seal the first set.
In the second set Dementieva's level rose, while Ana wasn't quite as aggressive as she had been in the first chapter. However, Ana was still on top and, after surrendering an early break, had a handful of chances to move clear again.
Most notably, she had 0-40 on the Dementieva serve at 3-3 and missed two highly makeable chances to pass the Russian. However, she was undeterred and followed up that disappointment by holding to love.
Ana was 4-2 behind in the tiebreak and became incensed about a line call that went against her. However, she again held her nerve and produced some big serving when it mattered to complete victory in an hour and 39 minutes.
"It's a great feeling to beat a player as good as Elena," said Ana. "She's a great player and has beaten me many times before. But tonight I felt like I played very well and was able to vary my shots well.
"I'm really enjoying this tournament. Again there isn't much time to rest, I have to be ready for tomorrow, because it's going to be another extremely tough match."
In the last eight Ana will meet another Russian player, Nadia Petrova. The match is scheduled as the third on Center Court and should begin sometime after 4.30pm local time (10.30am Eastern Time). Click here for live point-by-point scoring from the Foro Italico.
By Joeri Moerman