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September 23, 2000
Spaniard streaks into quarters
Eight seeded Spanish young gun Juan Carlos Ferrero held his nerve to account for Canadian Daniel Nestor 7-6 (6-4), 6-3 and join Brazilian second seed Guatavo Kuerten in the quarter-finals of the Olympics tennis event.
Kuerten took out Croatian Ivan Ljubicic in straight sets 7-6 (6-2), 6-3.
Ferrero and Nestor engaged themselves in a tight tussle in the first set which went to a tiebreak. The Spaniard dominated his opening service game of the second set and immediately broke his opponent for a 2-0 lead.
From there, Ferrero never looked back and edged closer to competing for an Olympic medal.
His quarter-final opponent will be the winner of the match between France's Arnaud Di Pasquale and Swede Magnus Norman (3). Ferrero has yet to meet either player. However, he should be confident going in to his next match given his solid form to date.
Ferrero, who turned pro in 1998, shot to fame earlier this year when he played an integral role in Spain's defeat of Russia in the Davis Cup quarter-final. There, the Spaniard accounted for both Yevgeny Kafelnikov and Marat Safin.
Advancing to the finals at Dubai and Barcelona, Ferrero also claimed a semi-final berth at his debut French Open appearance this year.
Ferrero and compatriot Alex Corretja (8) -- who will take on German Tommy Haas in the third round - - are vying to become the first official Spanish men's singles gold medallist. Manuel Santana did stand atop the podium at the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico, however tennis was a demonstration event at these Games.
Dementieva through to quarters
Russian Elena Dementieva (seeded 10) had no trouble this morning easing past Slovak Karina Habsudova 6-2, 6-1 to book a quarter-final berth at Sydney 2000.
Dementieva, whose best result this year has been the semi-finals at Indian Wells, Los Angeles and the US Open, will face Austrian Barbara Schett in the next round. Schett was victorious in this pair's only prior meeting.
The sole Russian woman remaining in the tennis event, Dementieva will be seeking her nation's first Olympic tennis medal.
Great Britain and the USA have to date dominated Olympic tennis with both nations' medal tally at 41. The UK is no longer represented due to early exits, and the hopes of the USA rest with Venus Williams (2) and Monica Seles (3) in the singles, and Williams and sister Serena in the doubles - all are touted medal contenders.
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