Greece's Daniilidou has Serena in her sights
Sat Jan 18, 4:17 AM ET
By JOHN BROCK, Associated Press Writer
MELBOURNE, Australia - While Most players want to avoid playing the Williams sisters, Eleni Daniilidou is relishing the prospect at the Australian Open.
Daniilidou, seeded No. 18, set up a fourth-round meeting with world No. 1 Serena Williams (news - web sites) Saturday with a 6-4, 6-3 win over No. 16 Nathalie Dechy of France.
"I wanted to play fourth round against her and it came true," the Greek righthander, who has climbed more than 60 places to No. 22 in the rankings in the last year, said of what will be her first meeting with Serena.
"I'm gonna play on Monday and I'll just give 100 per cent. We will be two strong girls in the court and both of us will try to win."
Daniilidou, who stands 1.82 meters (5-feet-11) and weighs 72 kilograms (158 pounds), has worked hard on her fitness in the last six months. Serena 1.73 meters is (5-feet-8) and tips the scales at 59 kilograms (130 pounds).
Daniilidou posted her first career tour title last year and scored upset wins over, among others, Monica Seles, Amelie Mauresmo, Justine Henin-Hardenne and Daniela Hantuchova.
She has equaled her best Grand Slam showing, having lost in the fourth round at Wimbledon (news - web sites) last year to Jennifer Capriati. This is only her seventh career Grand Slam event.
"I love to play here, I like so much the people, the weather, the court, the crowd, everything," Daniilidou said. She'll also have a lot of supporters in Melbourne, home to the biggest population of Greeks in a city outside of Athens.
Welcome back, Lapin!!!!