Dynamic Dementieva polishes perfect record with 12th-straight win

Dynamic Dementieva polishes perfect record with 12th-straight winMelbourne  - Russian Elena Dementieva charged Thursday to her 12th-straight victory in a stunning season start, powering into the third round of the Australian Open with 6-4, 6-1 ease over Iveta Benesova.

Fourth-seeded Dementieva, the Olympic champion, has won both of her WTA events this season in Auckland and Sydney to stand a perfect 12-0.

"I had a very good start of the year, but right now, it's the most important moment," the winner said. "That's why we're coming here to play the Australian Open. I just hope to play well here."

Dementieva needed little more than an hour to claim her victory, striking 20 winners and breaking on five of nine opportunities.

"I just played a little bit better than my first match," she said. "This is what I need if I want to improve - if I want to go all the way."

Victoria Azarenka, the 13th seed from Belarus, advanced when Italian Tathiana Garbin retired while trailing 4-1 with an abdominal muscle injury.

France's Virginie Razzano pulled off a minor upset as she put out Swiss 14th seed, Patty Schnyder, 6-3, 6-1 in the 30-year-old veteran's 13th Melbourne appearance.

Amelie Mauresmo, the 2006 winner, kept up her comeback in the game after injury as she eliminated the last British hope in qualifier Elena Baltacha 4-6, 6-3, 6-2.

Men's sixth seed Gilles Simon recovered after losing the first set to Australian Chris Guccione, advancing smoothly from then on to a 6-7 (5-7), 6-4, 6-1, 6-2 result.

Simon led fellow Frenchman Richard Gasquet to victory with the unseeded Gasquet putting out Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan 6-3, 6-4, 6-4

Spanish 14th seed Fernando Verdasco followed up a first-round defeat of Lleyton Hewitt as he stopped French veteran Arnaud Clement 7-5, 6-3, 6-4. (dpa)