Injury forces Raymond out


Published: Saturday, January 22, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, January 22, 2005 at 12:20 a.m.
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Maria Sharapova of Russia yells in delight after defeating Li Na of China in their third round match at the Australian Open on Friday.

The Associated Press
MELBOURNE, Australia - French Open champion Anastasia Myskina joined Russia's two other Grand Slam title holders in the fourth round when American Lisa Raymond withdrew from their match today at the Australian Open.
Raymond injured abdominal muscles on her left side in the first game of a second-round doubles match on Friday and her status was in doubt for the third-round singles.
The 31-year-old former Gator reached the quarterfinals at Melbourne Park last year, upsetting Venus Williams - then seeded third - in the third round. It was only her second trip into the quarters at 45 majors.
''I felt a little tightness in my back in my warmup before my doubles match. I received some treatment before the match and thought I was going to be OK, but in the first game of the match I hit a forehand and felt a sharp pain in my left oblique,'' Raymond said.
''I'm extremely disappointed because I couldn't have asked to play better in my first two matches,'' she added. ''I was really looking forward to playing Myskina, and of course it's a real shame about having to retire in the doubles.''
Raymond said she'd been advised to rest for four to six weeks and hoped to be back for the Indian Wells tournament in California starting March 9.
Russians Maria Sharapova, the Wimbledon champion who is seeded fourth here, and U.S. Open titlist Svetlana Kuznetsova, seeded fifth, won their third-round matches Friday, advancing along with No. 7 Serena Williams and second-seeded Amelie Mauresmo.
In men's action today, Andy Roddick served 22 aces and hit 41 winners - including a passing shot played between his legs - and beat Austria's Jurgen Melzer 6-2, 6-2, 7-5 to advance to the fourth round.
The second-ranked Roddick had the crowd buzzing after starting his first service game with a pair of aces. He unleashed serves at up to 139 mph.
''I thought I moved really well. I got up two sets, the third one got a little tight, but I was able to get through,'' said Roddick, who noted his serve is well short of his world record 155 mph. ''I'm holding serve though, that's the most important thing.''
Tim Henman smashed a ball into the stands in anger in the fourth game of the third set, his cleanest hit in a 6-4, 6-2, 6-2 third-round loss to Nicolay Davydenko .
The seventh-seeded Henman was a semifinalist at the French and U.S. Opens last year and a quarterfinalist at Wimbledon. But he seemed distracted today, making 32 unforced errors and five double-faults. He won less than half his 69 net approaches.
Davydenko, a Russian seeded 26th, hit 31 clean winners, mostly on his forehand, and broke Henman's serve in the opening games of the first and third sets. He had never reached the second week of a Grand Slam tournament in 15 previous attempts.
Davydenko next faces 12th-seeded Guillermo Canas, a 6-1, 6-2, 6-2 winner over Radek Stepanek.
French Open finalist Guillermo Coria beat former top-ranked Juan Carlos Ferrero 6-3, 6-2, 6-1.
Top-ranked Lindsay Davenport and No. 8 Venus Williams were to play their fourth-round matches later today.
Andre Agassi, a four-time Australian Open winner, was down 4-1 in the first set against serve-and-volleyer Taylor Dent before he rallied for a 7-5, 7-6 (3), 6-1 victory Friday.
Dent, sweat spilling off him, made 39 unforced errors, and his 51 percent of winning net approaches dropped to about one-third in the third set.
Agassi committed a miserly six - none in the third set - and pounded Dent with an arsenal of groundstrokes.
The 34-year-old Agassi admired Dent's gallant charges, but had no compunctions about using his fellow American for target practice.
''Listen, I was settling in for whatever it was going to take,'' Agassi said. ''The guy's really talented, can make a lot of shots that you just don't expect him to be able to pull off. If you're not on your game, he's one of the worst guys to play.''
After trading breaks in the second set, Agassi had five chances to break Dent in the 11th game and then serve for the set. But Dent scrambled and won that game, then had three set points of his own before Agassi got rolling.

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