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Dementieva off to a flier in Tokyo

September 18, 2008 11:51 IST

Olympic champion Elena Dementieva was delighted to clinch an early berth in the season-ending WTA Championships after a 6-0, 6-3 win over France's Alize Cornet at the Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo on Thursday.

The Russian world number four, who captured gold at last month's Beijing Games, took just 69 minutes to book her place in the quarter-finals of the US $1.34 million Tokyo tournament.

  • Tennis beauties on Tokyo Tour

The third seed is the fifth player to qualify for November's showcase event in Doha, exclusive to the world's top eight.

"It's great to be there months before," Dementieva said. "I remember years before, fighting right up to the end to get into the tournament. It's a special event."

World number one Serena Williams, Serbians Jelena Jankovic and Ana Ivanovic and Russia's Dinara Safina have already clinched their spots in the US $4.45 million Doha shootout.

Runner-up at the French Open and US Open in 2004, Dementieva has won twice on the WTA Tour this season, including the Beijing Olympics, going one better than her silver medal at the 2000 Sydney Games.

Six of the world's top 10 players are appearing in this week's Tokyo event, although Williams is not taking part.

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