28 Aug 2008

Games-weary Nadal and Dementieva battle through

7:44 am on 28 August 2008

The Beijing tennis gold medallists Rafael Nadal and Elena Dementieva had to shake off their Olympic hangovers to stumble into the second round of the US Open.

The newly-crowned world number one Nadal was expected to flatten a qualifier ranked 136th in the world.

But the Spaniard's Olympic, Wimbledon and French Open exertions appear to have caught up with him.

Nadal struggled to a 7-6 6-3 7-6 win over Germany's Bjorn Phau in New York.

And after finally getting her hands on a major title, Dementieva also found it hard to break free from the Olympic bubble.

The Russian had to come from 3-5 down in the second set and save two set points before beating the Uzbekistan player Akgul Amanmuradova 6-4 7-5.

Dementieva admits her Beijing victory is still on her mind, and she was watching the closing ceremony the night before her first match at Flushing Meadows.

She says her mind's still in China.

The American Lindsay Davenport is also through along with the Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova, David Ferrer of Spain and China's Li Na.

Meanwhile the New Zealand number one Marina Erakovic says she'll be concentrating on the women's doubles after her first round exit at the hands of Pauline Parmentier.

Erakovic has been drawn against a tough pair in the first round of the doubles.

Erakovic has a current world doubles ranking of 109 and pairs up with veteran Croatian Jelena Kostanic-Tosic to face the second seeds Kveta Peschke of Slovakia and the Australian Renee Stubbs. They're ranked three and four respectively.