AUSTRALIAN OPEN

Mauresmo battles hard as Venus crashes out

France's former world number one Amélie Mauresmo had to dig deep to clinch a three-set win over Britain's Elena Baltacha. Serena Williams had a rough ride into the third round while her sister, Venus, was dumped out in the biggest surprise yet.

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Serena Williams's champion's mentality lifted her to the third round despite a lukewarm performance.

 

Facing Argentine Gisela Dulko, three-times champion Serena won the first set comfortably enough but had to overcome 3-0 and 5-2 deficits in the second before to secure a 6-3 7-5 victory in 110 minutes. The second set lasted 79 minutes alone.

 

"I was able to get through it not playing my best... that's how I would sum it up," Serena said. "Lots and lots and lots and lots of room for improvement.

 

"She definitely isn't known for the game she played today but I am used to people playing and really taking it to me now. It is always good to know that against me, at least these girls are bring their 'A' game.

 

Venus Williams fails to join her sister

 

Venus Williams suffered a shock defeat at the hands of a fluid and free-hitting Carla Suarez Navarro on Thursday, falling 2-6 6-3 7-5 in the second round of the Australian Open.

The seven-times grand slam champion, shimmering under the lights in a canary-yellow dress, held a match point late in the third set but failed to join sister Serena in the third round.

The 46th-ranked Suarez Navarro, making her Australian Open debut, stood toe-to-toe with sixth seed Venus and bettered her more illustrious opponent for much of the match before closing it out after two hours and 14 minutes.

The double-barrelled Suarez Navarro faces Spanish compatriot Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez in the next round.

 

Women's fourth seed Elena Dementieva extended her winning streak to 12 matches with a comfortable 6-4 6-1 victory over Iveta Benesova.

 

Dementieva, who is unbeaten in 2009 after claiming the Auckland and Sydney titles, admitted after her first round victory over Kristina Barrois that her run of matches had left her a little fatigued.

 

The world number four made 23 unforced errors and served five double faults on the second show court but was still too strong for 35th-ranked Benesova, wrapping up the match in 72 minutes.

 

"Well, I'm not thinking about my chances. I'm really enjoying, you know, the way I'm playing right now. Just want to go as far as I can, just enjoy every single match I play here," she said.

 

Former champion Amelie Mauresmo breathed a big sigh of relief after squeaking past the lone Briton left in the women's draw.

 

The ex-world number one made heavy work of her 4-6 6-3 6-2 win over Elena Baltacha on Showcourt Two before admitting she needed to up her performance if she is going to survive much longer.

 

"I'm expecting to play better and better as the tournament will go on," the 29-year-old told reporters.

 

"I'm definitely expecting a tougher match, tougher opponent next round. So I will have to step up and play some better tennis."

 

 

Australian Open women's singles second round results :


Alona Bondarenko (Ukraine) beat Severine Bremond (France) 7-6(1) 1-6 6-2


Samantha Stosur (Australia) beat Sabine Lisicki (Germany) 6-3 6-4


Flavia Pennetta (Italy) beat Jessica Moore (Australia) 6-4 6-1


Svetlana Kuznetsova (Russia) beat Tatjana Malek (Germany) 6-2 6-2


Serena Williams (U.S.) beat Gisela Dulko (Argentina) 6-3 7-5

 

Zheng Jie (China) beat Melinda Czink (Hungary) 7-6 5-7 6-3


Anabel Medina Garrigues (Spain) beat Julie Coin (France) 6-1 6-4


Kateryna Bondarenko (Ukraine) beat Lourdes Dominguez (Spain) 7-5 7-5


Amelie Mauresmo (France) beat Elena Baltacha (Britain) 4-6 6-3 6-2

 

Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez (Spain) beat Akgul Amanmuradova (Uzbekistan) 6-2 6-4


Dominika Cibulkova (Slovakia) beat Chan Yung-jan (Taiwan) 6-0 6-2


Victoria Azarenka (Belarus) beat Tathiana Garbin (Italy) 4-1 (RET)


Virginie Razzano (France) beat Patty Schnyder (Switzerland) 6-3 6-1

 

Elena Dementieva (Russia) beat Iveta Benesova (Czech Republic) 6-4 6-1

 

Carla Suarez Navarro (Spain) beat Venus williams (U.S.) 2-6 6-3 7-5

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