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Updated: January 21, 2010 15:24 IST

Serena, Venus advance; Hewitt sets up Baghdatis clash

AP
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GUTTED: Serbian Ana Ivanovic exits after losing in three sets to Gisela Dulko of Argentina. Photo: AP
AP GUTTED: Serbian Ana Ivanovic exits after losing in three sets to Gisela Dulko of Argentina. Photo: AP

Defending champion Serena Williams had no problems beating Petra Kvitova 6-2, 6-1 to move into a third-round match against Carla Suarez Navarro, who ended her sister Venus’ run early at the last Australian Open.

Williams converted four of her 11 breakpoint chances against the unseeded Kvitova in a 67-minute match on Thursday that followed immediately after Venus Williams beat Austria’s Sybille Bammer 6-2, 7-5 on Hisense Arena.

Serena Williams has won the Australian Open every odd-numbered year since 2003, the year she beat older sister Venus in the final.

Venus, in her 10th Australian Open, has won seven Grand Slam singles titles but hasn’t gone beyond the fourth round in Australia since ‘03.

She was upset in the second-round last year by Spaniard Suarez Navarro, who beat Andrea Petkovic of Germany 6-1, 6-4 earlier on Thursday.

Ivanovic exits

Ana Ivanovic, the 2008 Australian Open finalist, extended her run of poor results in a second round 6-7 (6), 7-5, 6-4 loss to Gisela Dulko of Argentina.

“It’s hard. It hurts, I must say. For sure it will. But it’s a process,” said Ivanovic, who slipped from No. 1 to No. 21 and didn’t win a tournament in 2009. “I do feel better on the court. I’m playing much better. I feel like my old self. There are still some areas that are not there for me to rely on.

“I just have to sort of keep my head up and try to improve, work.”

U.S. Open finalist Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark advanced 6-3, 6-1 over Julia Goerges of Germany and will next play No. 29 Shahar Peer of Israel, who beat Tsvetana Pironkova of Bulgaria 6-1, 6-4.

Among the women advancing were No. 7 Victoria Azarenka of Belarus, No. 9 Vera Zvonareva of Russia, No. 10 Agnieszka Radwanska and No. 16 Li Na of China.

Djokovic advances

Back on the court where he won his only Grand Slam title, Novak Djokovic overcame an early struggle against Swiss journeyman Marco Chiudinelli before advancing 3-6, 6-1, 6-1, 6-3.

Djokovic had nine double-faults and 52 unforced errors and took a while to get going before he felt comfortable again.

“This court is most special because I won my only Grand Slam here,” the 22-year-old Serb said of Rod Laver Arena, where he beat Roger Federer in the semi-finals en route to the 2008 title. “It has the nicest possible memories.”

Djokovic will next play Uzbekistan’s Denis Istomin, who beat Michael Berrer of Germany 7-5, 6-3, 6-4.

Baghdatis sets up Hewitt clash

Marcos Baghdatis, the 2006 Australian Open finalist, struggled late with cramping but held on to beat No. 17 David Ferrer of Spain 4-6, 3-6, 7-6 (4), 6-3, 6-1.

Baghdatis will face former world number one Lleyton Hewitt, who had a 7-6 (3), 6-4, 6-1 win over American Donald Young. The last Hewitt-Baghdatis match at Melbourne Park was a third-round match in 2008 that finished at 4:34 a.m. — a record late finish for the tournament.

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