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RYNJ
Jan 20th, 2005, 06:13 AM
Venus Williams, Davenport and Myskina advance to third round By JOHN PYE, AP Sports Writer
January 20, 2005 http://us.news1.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20050120/thumb.mel16801200609.australian_open_tennis_mel168 .jpg (http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/photo?slug=mel16801200609.australian_open_tennis_m el168&prov=ap)
AP - Jan 20, 1:12 am EST
More Photos (http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/gallery) MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) -- Venus Williams (http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/players/87/) wore down Peng Shuai (http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/players/560/) and closed out a 6-3, 6-1 win Thursday with a stinging crosscourt forehand that put her into the third round of the Australian Open.

Williams lost her opening service game, but broke right back to start a five-game winning streak. That sent her on the way to eliminating Peng, who upset French Open champion Anastasia Myskina (http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/players/101/) at the Sydney International last week.

Williams cut her errors in half and doubled the number of clean winners in the second set, while Peng started misfiring with the powerful groundstrokes that were winning shots early.

``Wasn't she a beautiful player?'' said Williams, who joined younger sister, Serena, in the third round. ``I had no idea who she was.''

Myskina and top-seeded Lindsay Davenport (http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/players/93/) had more trouble, but managed to advance.

Davenport earned a 2-6, 6-2, 6-2 victory over Michaela Pastikova (http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/players/931/), the world's 99th-ranked player who was entered in her first Grand Slam tournament after 13 failed qualifying attempts.

Myskina, the No. 3 seed, berated herself and looked dismayed after many of the 25 errors she had to overcome on the way to defeating No. 114 Tzipora Obziler (http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/players/313/) of Israel 6-4, 6-2 in the second round.

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The American won the first nine points in the final set and led 5-1 before Pastikova held her serve and made Davenport serve out the match. Somebody in the crowd yelled ``Just finish it Lindsay!'' Davenport sealed it two points later on consecutive errors from Pastikova.

``I just wasn't ready to be at my very best at the beginning,'' Davenport said. ``She was very aggressive and caught me on the back foot.

``I tried to buckle down ... I knew I wasn't playing my best, so I thought I'd do what I needed to do. In the second and third sets, I got off to good starts, and that carried me through.''

Myskina had problems with her serve and trailed 3-1 in the first set, muttering to herself and gesturing at lines after losing points.

``My emotion doesn't really help me on court,'' she said.

She regained control and won four consecutive games to close out the first set, and then didn't face a break point in the second.

Myskina will take on 25th-seeded Lisa Raymond (http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/players/102/), a 6-0, 6-1 winner over Clara Koukalova, in the third round. Last year, Raymond upset Venus Williams, then seeded third, in the third round en route to the Australian Open quarterfinals.

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AP - Jan 20, 1:11 am EST
More Photos (http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/gallery) American Abigail Spears (http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/players/216/), playing only her second major, knocked out No. 20 Tatiana Golovin (http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/players/565/) of France 7-5, 6-1 to make the third round.

``She got in my face from the start,'' said Golovin, whose preparation was restricted by a virus. ``I don't want to make excuses, I was feeling OK physically, but it played a part.''

In other women's matches, 14th-seeded Francesca Schiavone (http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/players/150/) beat Tatiana Perebiynis (http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/players/220/) 2-6, 6-3, 6-0, and 26th-seeded Daniela Hantuchova (http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/players/99/) had a 6-4, 6-0 win over 28-year-old Barbara Schett (http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/players/149/), who retired from singles play after the match.

No. 13 Karolina Sprem (http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/players/620/) and No. 27 Anna Smashnova also advanced, while Czech player Nicole Vaidisova (http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/players/966/) beat No. 31 Jelena Kostanic (http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/players/172/) of Croatia.

On the men's side, No. 14 Sebastien Grosjean (http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/players/41/), No. 15 Mikhail Youzhny (http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/players/235/), No. 17 Andrei Pavel (http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/players/27/) and No. 18 Nicolas Massu (http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/players/359/) were the four seeded players ousted from the men's draw Thursday, while No. 23 Fernando Gonzalez (http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/players/30/), No. 25 Juan Ignacio Chela (http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/players/2/) and No. 32 Jurgen Melzer (http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/players/289/) advanced.

Grosjean, a semifinalist at Wimbledon the last two years and at the 2001 Australian Open, led fellow Frenchman Jean-Rene Lisnard (http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/players/240/) 6-1, 4-1 before calling for a trainer to treat his injured left thigh. Grosjean saved two match points in the fifth set before dropping his serve and losing 1-6, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-3.

Olympic gold medalist Massu lasted 41 minutes before an injured left foot forced him to quit his second-round match against Philipp Kohlschreiber (http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/players/629/) when he trailed 6-0, 2-0.

Massu, who had a hernia operation in late November, threw his racket into a chair after losing the first set. He won only 12 points in eight games.

Rafael Nadal (http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/players/599/), an 18-year-old left-hander who upset Andy Roddick (http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/players/46/) and helped Spain beat the United States in last month's Davis Cup final, eliminated Youzhny 6-1, 4-6, 4-6, 7-5, 6-3.

American Bobby Reynolds (http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/players/771/) upset Pavel 7-6 (6), 6-2, 6-2, while Guillermo Canas (http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/players/48/), seeded 12th, advanced 3-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-0 over Fernando Verdasco (http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/players/563/).