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Bероника
Dec 29th, 2004, 10:18 PM
Daniilidou eyeballs history in ASB Classic

29 December 2004

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Eleni Daniilidou will be five matches away from a slice of tennis history when she starts her defence of the ASB Classic title in Auckland on Monday.



The top-ranked Greek player has won the singles crown at the last two classic tournaments.

A third victory would put her in a league of her own since the tournament was restarted as a separate entity in 1985.

Australian legend Evonne Goolagong did the hat-trick when the Auckland men's and women's tournaments were under one umbrella in the early to mid-1970s.

Daniilidou, 22 and the world No 34, has had a patchy year. She was plagued by injuries to her thigh, ankle and knee and was twice sidelined by bouts of sickness.

"That can happen," she said.

"But to be honest I was not very happy with my season. In the last few months I've worked hard and I hope success will come and my ranking will improve."

Daniilidou, who has won more than $US1.1 million ($NZ1.56 million) in prizemoney, did not expect to win this year's event - her straight sets win over American Ashley Harkleroad in the final in January followed a three-set victory over Korea's Yoon Jeong Cho 12 months earlier - and believes she is in a better frame of mind for next week than she was then.

"This is a tough month, but it's the same for everyone, because you have to find your rhythm again," she said.

"You need something inside to push you to win. There are so many new players, everyone is fresh and fit, some people will have improved but you don't know until you see them."

Daniilidou's highlight of 2004 was being involved in the Athens Olympics, the pride felt at being part of the extravaganza on home soil slightly tarnished by injury.

She reached the last 16, despite being hampered by a thigh injury, before losing to French Open champion Anastasia Myskina.

"It was special for the Greek athletes. It was a great atmosphere and I will never forget it."

Her goal for next year is to break into the world top 10. She knows she can improve her fitness and sharpen her game mentally.

"I play very good against the top players. On one hand that makes me very happy, but on the other hand, when I am not playing the top players I find it hard to reach my limit," she said.

"In my mind I have to think about winning tournaments, especially this one, and not just playing one or two matches in each tournament."

Daniilidou will be the fourth seed for the classic, behind American Amy Frazier, Serbian Jelena Jankovic and the main drawcard, two-time grand slam champion, Mary Pierce, of France.

AleOrtu
Jan 4th, 2005, 05:23 AM
Come on Lena!
Just 5 more matchs!!!

forever_rafter
Jan 4th, 2005, 12:21 PM
:sad:

Bероника
Jan 4th, 2005, 04:17 PM
Daniilidou Suffers First Defeat at Auckland


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AUCKLAND, New Zealand - A two-year run by Eleni Daniilidou at the ASB Classic came to an end on Tuesday in Auckland as the defending champion fell in three sets.
The No.3 seeded Greek player, who had won the last two titles at the event, was upset in her first round match, falling to Italian Mara Santangelo, 62 16 61.

"I got here very early and I felt very good," Daniilidou said. "I'm just very disappointed with this kind of match."

The loss by Daniilidou was the first time in 11 matches at the event that she's suffered a defeat. Santangelo knew her first match of the year would be tough, having to play a two-time defending champion, but didn't expect to walk away with a win.

"I didn't expect to win this match at all," Santangelo said. "She's a great player. She's won here twice. I'm so happy, I played great tennis."

Santangelo will next take on Israeli qualifier Shahar Peer, who reached the second round with a 63 46 63 victory against Japan's Akiko Morigami.

Daniilidou wasn't the only seeded player to fall on Day 2 in Auckland, as No.6 Kristina Brandi and No.8 Alina Jidkova also suffered defeats in their first matches of 2005. Brandi could only muster three games in a lopsided 61 62 defeat to qualifier Janette Husarova, while Jidkova fell to Slovenia's Katarina Srebotnik, 63 46 63.

Despite battling a nasty cold and a fever, No.2 seed Jelena Jankovic avoided the addition of an 'L' to her win-loss record in her season debut, defeating Claudine Schaul, 75 62. Jankovic did not practice for the three days leading up to her first match of the week, but still managed to display enough to advance into the second round.

"(I did) not have much energy and I (felt) very weak and slow on the court," Jankovic said. "It was really tough on the court, but I think I played okay."

No.4 seed Shinobu Asagoe also advanced to the asecond round in straight sets with a 64 61 victory against Tatiana Perebiynis.

New Zealand wildcard Marina Erakovic pleased the home crowd by winning her first round match against Canadian qualifier Marie-Eve Pelletier, sweating out a 46 75 63 victory in 2 hours, 41 minutes.

The 16-year-old, who was making her WTA Tour debut, was confident going into the match that she could win in front of the large home crowd.

"They were really great," said Erakovic of the crowd support. "I knew that if I played well, I would have a good chance."

In other first round action, Lucie Safarova blew past Japanese qualifier Yuka Yoshida, 60 61 in just 44 minutes, Jill Craybas defeated countrywoman Melien Tu, 62 62 and Spain's Nuria Llagostera Vives moved past Anne Kremer, 63 63.


:sad: :sad: :sad: :sad: :sad: :sad: :sad: :sad: :sad: :sad: Disappointing start of the year!!!

LRWTT
Jan 4th, 2005, 05:35 PM
:sad:

Too bad! And she lost the ranking points. But she always have at least one good result in Oceania, maybe a QF or SF in Aus Open, donīt you think? ;)

forever_rafter
Jan 4th, 2005, 06:51 PM
It's disappointing but it's just the beginning. Eleni won last year but didn't have a good year at all so maybe this year everything will be different. No win in Auckland but a better season I hope for

Bероника
Jan 5th, 2005, 12:30 AM
Well,let's hope she'll perform better in AO.

forever_rafter
Jan 5th, 2005, 12:01 PM
No three-peat for shattered Daniilidou

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Jan 5, 2005
By Dale Budge at the ASB Tennis Centre, Auckland

It was a shattered Eleni Daniilidou that greeted media at her post match press conference on Tuesday night after the two-time defending champion was bundled out of this year's tournament.

For the first time in 10 matches in Auckland the Greek third seed was blanked by an opposing player after she won titles at the Classic in the previous two summers.

She started slowly against Italian Mara Santangelo and was beaten in the first set, came back strong in the second before falling away dramatically in the decider - to the disappointment to the large crowd that had turned up to watch the night session on centre court.

Daniilidou blames a loss of concentration for her decline in the final set but was at a loss - clearly very disappointed - to identify what caused it.

"I had a break point in the first game of the third set and I lost the chance. Suddenly at two-love I lost concentration," she told reporters.

"The first match of the year is always the toughest one and I am just very disappointed," the third seed said before breaking into tears.( :sad: poor baby :sad: )

"In the second set I felt much better. I was hitting the ball much better. But at two-love in the third I lost concentration and I lost the game."

Santangelo took a one-nil career advantage into the match after beating Daniilidou in the 2004 Australian Open but, despite playing solidly, never looked in the same class as the Greek whenever she was able to get her game together.

Santangelo continues into the second round where she will meet the winner of Wednesday's match between Akiko Morigami of Japan and Shahar Peer of Israel.

Daniilidou will find herself with some time off during the week in Auckland, a place where she feels very welcome.

But sadly for her Kiwi fans there will be no three-peat in 2005

Bероника
Jan 5th, 2005, 04:24 PM
oh that damn Santangelo has beaten our Eleni twice.I can't help but feel dislike for her...
Hope Lena will take revenge next time they play.Is our Goddess playing next week?

forever_rafter
Jan 5th, 2005, 06:47 PM
God only knows, I can't find any info

Bероника
Jan 6th, 2005, 12:25 AM
ok,thanks anyway.