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Dent gobbles up Coria

KEY BISCAYNE (FLORIDA), MARCH 29. Taylor Dent of the United States beat a top-10 player for the fourth time this year by eliminating Guillermo Coria 6-3, 6-4 in the third round at the Nasdaq-100 Open on Monday.

Dent dominated with his big serve, but he also chased down a drop shot by the crafty Argentine, and angled his reply crosscourt for a winner.

"It's always nice to beat the South Americans and Spaniards at their own little game," Dent said with a smile.

The elimination of Coria, the runner-up last year, left just one of the six highest-ranked players, No. 1 Roger Federer, in contention with four rounds still to go. The highest-seeded man left in one half of the draw is No. 13 Ivan Ljubicic of Croatia.

Dent, seeded 31st, used his serve-and-volley game to keep Coria on the defensive. Dent lost only four points on his first serve, never faced a break point, and won 37 points at the net.

Pudgy and injury-prone in the past, Dent said sprint work has reduced his weight at least 6kgs from a high of 96kgs.

"He certainly has a game that should cause problems for a lot of people," said Andre Agassi, who also won and might face Dent in the quarterfinals. "I would expect him to have these wins a lot more often."

Six-time champion Agassi hit 12 aces and took barely an hour to beat Arnaud Clement of France 6-2, 6-4.

Henin, Clijsters advance

On the women's side, Belgians Justine Henin-Hardenne and Kim Clijsters continued their comebacks from injury.

Henin-Hardenne, seeded 19th and playing in her first tournament since the U.S. Open, reached the quarterfinals by beating No. 7 Alicia Molik of Australia 6-4, 2-6, 6-2. The three-time Grand Slam champion had been sidelined by a virus and knee injury.

Clijsters, unseeded and coming back from wrist surgery, beat No. 5 Anastasia Myskina 6-3, 6-4. Clijsters has won 11 consecutive matches, including her first tournament title in 13 months earlier this month at Indian Wells.

"I definitely didn't expect to be playing so many matches on this trip to the United States," Clijsters said. "So everything is a bonus."

Joining French Open champion Myskina on the sideline was fellow Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova, the U.S. Open champion. She lost to 17-year-old Ana Ivanovic of Serbia-Montenegro, 6-3, 3-6, 7-5.

"This is quite a big result for me," said Ivanovic, who won her first WTA Tour title in January in Canberra, Australia. "I think I'm pretty happy."

The 6-foot Ivanovic next plays top-seeded Amelie Mauresmo, who beat No. 16 Karolina Sprem of Croatia 6-1, 7-5. No. 2 Maria Sharapova eliminated No. 23 Shinobu Asagoe of Japan 6-1, 6-2 and will play Henin-Hardenne next.

The results:

Men: Third round: Taylor Dent bt Guillermo Coria 6-3, 6-4; Gaston Gaudio bt Sebastien Grosjean 6-2, 6-3; Florian Meyer bt Fernando Gonzalez 7-6(3), 2-6, 6-3; Andre Agassi bt Arnaud Clement 6-2, 6-4; Tim Henman bt Juan Ignacio Chela 6-3, 6-1; Radek Stepanek bt Jeff Morrison 6-3, 6-0; Mario Ancic bt Tommy Haas (16), Germany, 6-4, 6-4; Roger Federer bt Mariano Zabaleta 6-2, 5-7, 6-3.

Women: Fourth round: Amelie Mauresmo bt Karolina Sprem 6-1, 7-5; Maria Sharapova bt Shinobu Asagoe 6-1, 6-2; Kim Clijsters bt Anastasia Myskina 6-3, 6-4; Ana Ivanovic bt Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-3, 3-6, 7-5; Elena Dementieva bt Tatiana Golovin 3-6, 6-2, 6-1; Justine Henin-Hardenne bt Alicia Molik 6-4, 2-6, 6-2; Venus Williams bt Catalina Castano 6-4, 2-6, 6-1; Serena Williams bt Elena Likhovtseva 6-4, 1-6, 6-4. — AP

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