Kim Clijsters chalks up a clinical win over Roberta Vinci Dominik Hrbaty wins his third consecutive five-setter
MELBOURNE: Martina Hingis has quickly quieted her doubters.
The former World No. 1, coming back from a three-year retirement, ripped through her third consecutive opponent on Saturday to advance to the fourth round of the Australian Open on a day when the heat was some players' worst opponent.
There were questions about Hingis's fitness coming into the tournament. But she looked fresh as she took the court for a late-morning match, committing only 12 unforced errors in a 6-4, 6-1 victory in 65 minutes over Iveta Benesova, who suffered as temperatures rose.
''It wasn't as cruel, brutal'' as later in the day, Hingis said. ''Towards the end of the second set you could feel the heat, but thank God she felt it more than I did.''
Hingis now has dropped only 10 games in her three matches and has looked almost as dominating as when she won three of her five Grand Slams here.
''I don't think I played my best tennis today,'' she said. ''But as long as you win, it's always good. Always room to improve for the next match.''
That will be against Australia's Samantha Stosur, with a possible quarterfinal match looming against second-seeded Kim Clijsters.
In no trouble
Clijsters had a 6-1, 6-2 win over Italian Roberta Vinci in 44 minutes, showing no obvious signs of the hip and back problems that have bothered her for the last 10 days.
For the second consecutive day, the tournament invoked the extreme heat policy that calls for play to be suspended on outside courts after matches already underway were completed. The roofs were closed on Rod Laver Arena and Margaret Court Arena.
Temperatures exceeded 40C (104F) - and were perhaps 10 degrees higher on court. Sunday's forecast calls for even hotter conditions before a cooler change next week.
Michaella done in by heat
Third-seeded Amelie Mauresmo was leading Michaella Krajicek 6-2 in the match when the 17-year-old Dutch player withdrew because of heat stress.
Krajicek, with icebags around her neck, had her temperature and pulse taken by trainers before telling the umpire: ''I can't play.''
''I felt like I was going to throw up ... I couldn't even see the ball because my eyes were burning,'' Krajicek said after having an ice bath to cool down.
Grosjean upsets Coria
Also advancing were No. 25 Sebastien Grosjean, who needed almost three hours to upset No. 6 Guillermo Coria, No. 21 Nicolas Kiefer, Tommy Haas, Paul-Henri Mathieu and Argentina's Juan Ignacio Chela, who ousted No. 3 Lleyton Hewitt in the second round.
Advancing on the women's side were No. 7 Patty Schnyder, No. 12 Anastasia Myskina, the 2004 French Open champion, No. 16 Nicole Vaidisova and No. 15 Francesca Schiavone, who scored the tournament's first double-bagel (6-0, 6-0) against Maria Sanchez Lorenzo in just 42 minutes.
Roger Federer, the overwhelming favourite in the men's draw beat Max Mirnyi in straight sets.
Eleventh seeds Mahesh Bhupathi and his South African partner Wesley Moodie waged a more than three-hour-long grim battle against the French pair of Arnaud Clement and Michael Llodra before winning their second round game in the men's doubles event.
The second round match saw the Indo-African pair edging out the French duo 4-6, 7-6(8), 7-5.
With this win, Bhupathi and Moodie set up a third round clash with Leander Paes and Martin Damm in the third round.
Paes and Nathalie Dechy created the biggest upset in mixed doubles event when the Indian-French pair upstaged top seeds Kevin Ullyett (South Africa) and Cara Black (Zimbabwe) in straight sets in the first round.
It was a brilliant show by Peas and Dechy who needed less than an hour for their 6-3, 6-4 win and the top seeds were shown the door. - Agencies
Prefix denotes seeding:
Men's singles (third round): 25-Sebastien Grosjean (Fra) bt 6-Guillermo Coria (Arg) 6-2, 6-2, 3-6, 6-4; Juan Ignacio Chela (Arg) bt Kristof Vliegen (Bel) 6-1, 6-4, 6-4; Paul-Henri Mathieu (Fra) bt Luis Horna (Peru) 7-6(2), 7-6(7), 6-1; 12-Dominik Hrbaty (Svk) bt 23-Igor Andreev (Rus) 1-6, 6-4, 6-3, 2-6, 6-4; Tommy Haas (Ger) bt Peter Luczak (Aus) 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-4; 21-Nicolas Kiefer (Ger) bt 15-Juan Carlos Ferrero (Esp) 6-3, 6-2, 5-7, 6-2; 5-Nikolay Davydenko (Rua) bt Nathan Healey (Aus) 6-2, 5-7, 6-4, 7-5; 1-Roger Federer (Sui) bt 30-Max Mirnyi (Bel) 6-3, 6-4, 6-3.
Women's singles (third round): Martina Hingis (Sui) bt Iveta Benesova (Cze) 6-4, 6-1; 12-Anastasia Myskina (Rus) bt Sofia Arvidsson (Swe) 6-3, 6-1; 16-Nicole Vaidisova (Cze) bt 20-Flavia Pennetta (Ita) 6-4, 6-2; 3-Amelie Mauresmo (Fra) bt Michaella Krajicek (Ned) 6-2, retd.; 7-Patty Schnyder (Sui) bt Aiko Nakamura (Jpn) 6-2, 6-3; 15-Francesca Schiavone (Ita) bt Maria Sanchez Lorenzo (Esp) 6-0, 6-0; 2-Kim Clijsters (Bel) bt Roberta Vinci (Ita) 6-1, 6-2; Samantha Stosur (Aus) bt Sybille Bammer (Aut) 7-5, 4-6, 6-3.
Men's doubles (second round): 11-Mahesh Bhupathi (Ind) & Wesley Moodie (RSA) bt Arnaud Clement & Michael Llodra (Fra) 4-6, 7-6(8), 7-5.
Mixed doubles (first round): Leander Paes (Ind) & Nathalie Dechy (Fra) bt 1-Kevin Ullyett (RSA) & Cara Black (Zim) 6-3, 6-4.