Dementieva beats the heat with warm-weather training

Dementieva beats the heat with warm-weather trainingMelbourne  - Australian Open semi-finalist Elena Dementieva credits the winter warmth of Miami for giving a turbo boost to her tennis in 2009.

Instead of fighting the Moscow weather and training indoors with snow outside, the world number four got herself to Florida for uninterrupted weeks of solid preparation.

The system paid off, with two titles so far this season and a semi-final spot at the Open.

"After Miami, it was much easier for me to come here and play similar weather condition," she explained. "It was the right decision to come to Auckland and play a smaller tournament in the beginning just to get, yeah, confidence and just get some matches.

Dementieva made her Grand Slam debut in Melbourne a decade ago, a memory she will never forget.

"I remember my first time here because it was my first Grand Slam. I did qualifying and I played Martina Hingis on Rod Laver Arena, I remember this day like it was yesterday.

"I remember crying after I lost to her. I was so upset to lose, I really wanted to go on and continue to play a couple more matches." (dpa)