2003 AUSTRALIAN OPEN
Davenport picking up stride
Published: Friday, January 17, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 17, 2003 at 12:58 a.m.
MELBOURNE, Australia - Former No. 1 Lindsay Davenport is looking comfortable again on the court.
Davenport advanced quickly to the Australian Open's fourth round Friday with a 6-2, 6-1 victory over Tatiana Panova.
Davenport, who was hanging her head in a narrow second-round escape, this time hit winners even off-balance as she kept Panova on the run. She served six aces against the Russian, seeded 24th.
She next meets the winner between No. 5 Justine Henin-Hardenne and No. 32 Katarina Srebotnik.
On Wednesday against 57th-ranked Iroda Tulyaganova, Davenport had to rally from a 3-1 deficit in the final set and was helped by errors by the Uzbekistan player in the final game.
The 26-year-old American, who missed most of last year after knee surgery in January, has won three Grand Slam titles, including the 2000 Australian.
On Thursday, Monica Seles made a surprisingly early exit from the Australian Open. It's still not clear when she'll leave the Grand Slam stage altogether.
Hampered by an ankle injury, Seles lost to 113th-ranked Klara Koukalova of the Czech Republic 6-7 (6), 7-5, 6-3 in the second round. It's the first time Seles won't reach at least the quarterfinals of the major she's won four times.
``I was in bad pain; it's an ankle sprain,'' the sixth-seeded Seles said. ``I knew I was in trouble. I tried to fight it out there, but she was just too good.''
The 29-year-old Seles owns nine major titles but hasn't reached a Grand Slam final since the 1998 French Open.
Two young American men hoping for their first real splash at a major reached the third round with victories Wednesday: Andy Roddick and James Blake.
No. 9 Roddick overpowered Romania's Adrian Voinea 6-2, 6-2, 6-2, and No. 23 Blake beat Argentina's Jose Acasuso 6-1, 6-4, 6-4.
Lleyton Hewitt, a 21-year-old who already has ended the last two seasons at No. 1, brushed aside fellow Australian Todd Larkham 6-1, 6-0, 6-1.
On the women's side, Kim Clijsters needed just 33 minutes to beat Hungary's Petra Mandula 6-0, 6-0. After beating both Williams sisters in the WTA Tour Championships last November, she is considered one of the most likely to stop Serena's effort to win a fourth consecutive Grand Slam tournament.
Williams stayed on track for a Serena Slam by beating Belgian Els Callens 6-4, 6-0. Her 22-year-old sister Venus is seeking a fifth Grand Slam title.
Thursday at a glance
WEATHER: Overcast, turning to a sunny day with a high of 75.
ATTENDANCE: 51,413 (14,476, night).
MEN'S SINGLES: No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt, No. 3 Marat Safin, No. 6 Roger Federer, No. 7 Jiri Novak, No. 9 Andy Roddick, No. 10 David Nalbandian, No. 18 Younes El Aynaoui, No. 20 Xavier Malisse, No. 23 James Blake, No. 25 Mikhail Youzhny, No. 31 Rainer Schuettler advanced; No. 13 Fernando Gonzalez, No. 19 Juan Ignacio Chela and No. 30 Gustavo Kuerten lost.
BULLETf=Zapf Dingbats * s%100 w%100 l+2no WOMEN'S SINGLES: No. 1 Serena Williams, No. 4 Kim Clijsters, No. 8 Anastasia Myskina, No. 10 Chanda Rubin, No. 11 Magdalena Maleeva, No. 14 Anna Pistolesi, No. 16 Nathalie Dechy, No. 18 Eleni Daniilidou, No. 19 Amanda Coetzer, No. 20 Elena Bovina, No. 25 Meghann Shaughnessy, No. 26 Tamarine Tanasugarn, No. 28 Clarisa Fernandez advanced; No. 6 Monica Seles lost.
BULLETf=Zapf Dingbats * s%100 w%100 l+2no STAT OF THE DAY: 14. The matches Kim Clijsters has won in-a-row since October. She beat Petra Mandula of Hungary 6-0, 6-0 in 33 minutes Thursday.
QUOTE OF THE DAY: ``We're in 16 of January, man. I don't know if I will be alive tomorrow.'' - Marat Safin, when asked if he would be playing in Beijing later this year.
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