Molik wins again - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Molik wins again

By Darren Walton 20/01/2005 10:08:31 PM Comments (0)

Streaky Alicia Molik continued her unbeaten start to 2005 to surge into the third round of the Australian Open at Melbourne Park.

Apart from a brief mid-match lapse, Molik barely needed to shift into top gear to cruise past Japanese qualifier Aiko Nakamura 6-2 6-4 and book a meeting on Saturday with unseeded Russian Tatiana Panova.

The South Australian's 74-minute prime-time performance under lights in Rod Laver Arena gave her a 10th straight success for the year and her third double-digit winning sequence in six spectacular months.

The last two times Molik embarked on such a roll she brought home a career-first tier-one title in Zurich in October and a cherished Olympic bronze medal in Athens that sparked her unexpected charge into the world's top 15.

The 10th-seeded Molik will be hoping this latest adventure ends with a grand slam title on Sunday week.

If she can negotiate a path past the 78th-ranked Panova, Molik is almost certain to run into Venus Williams, with world No.1 Lindsay Davenport likely to be waiting in the quarter-finals.

"They're fantastic names and they're wonderful players and I'd like to think I'm in the same league," Molik said.

"Let's take it one match at a time. If I keep improving and keep enjoying it and I keep going for my shots, I'll be a happy girl."

The 23-year-old fired down nine aces and struck 14 clean winners to dispatch Nakamura and move a step closer to that possible fourth-round confrontation with Williams.

After dominating the first set, Molik dropped four out of six games to fall behind 2-0 in the second, only to regroup and win the next four games to seize a 4-2 lead and the impetus to go on and claim her 21st win from her past 22 matches.

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