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Venus Crushes Maleeva
Venus Crushes Maleeva in 48 Minutes to Reach Quarters
By OSSIAN SHINE
MELBOURNE, Australia (Jan. 20) -- Venus Williams powered into the quarterfinals of the Australian Open on Sunday when she crushed Bulgarian Magdalena Maleeva 6-0, 6-3 with her most convincing performance of the tournament.
Maleeva, the 13th seed, had no answer to the reigning Wimbledon and U.S. Open champion's all-round strength and succumbed in a fourth-round match lasting only 48 minutes.
"I think that my game can keep going up," Williams warned.
"This is very good for me... especially seeing as I've been little bit injured I felt very good."
An overwhelming favorite to claim her first Australian Open title, the second seed again took to the court with her left knee strapped but showed few signs of the tendinitis which had hindered her campaign early in the tournament.
Williams started relatively slowly and had two break points against each of her three service games in the first set.
But she got herself out of trouble with ease and brushed Maleeva aside to race through the set in a mere 19 minutes.
Maleeva earned a big cheer from the crowd when she won her first game of the match in the second game of the second set. But Williams broke easily two games later and then shut Maleeva out with unplayable winners to all parts of the court.
"You try not to limit yourself on what you can do... just keep serving well, coming in, do my personal best," she said.
Williams will play eighth seed and fellow American Monica Seles in the quarterfinals.
The match was also emphatic revenge for Williams, who was beaten by Maleeva at their last meeting in Nice last year.
Williams' victory denied Maleeva a unique piece of Open history. The Bulgarian had been hoping to upset Williams to complete a unique family treble by joining elder sisters Katerina and Manuela as Australian Open singles quarterfinalists.
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