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tennisIlove09
Dec 30th, 2002, 10:40 PM
Venus win heightens Elena's confidence
The Gold Coast Bulletin
By Linda Pearce


AFTER beating world No. 2 Venus Williams in Dublin last October, Russia's Elena Bovina reckons she has a good chance of winning the Uncle Tobys Hardcourt tournament this year.

Bovina, 188cm and still growing, said her confidence had soared after a victory over Williams at an exhibition game in Ireland three weeks ago.

Yesterday, the 19-year-old enhanced her reputation and advanced to the second round after a close contest with Martina Navratilova's doubles partner and fellow Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova 7-5, 6-4.

"The win against Venus made me think I have a chance at winning this tournament," she said. "I know I have the ability to beat the girls - it's about confidence and understanding what you need to improve."

She said her win may also have something to do with her height.

"I think I grew the last few months. My feet are getting bigger, it's weird," she said.

"But she (Kuznetsova) has improved since I last played her.

"I tried to play it as if it was any other match.

"It's the first match of the season and I was trying to find my rhythm. I was trying to be as conscious as I could on the court.

"When I felt she was on top then I started playing more aggressively."