• Australian Open, Day Three

Classy Henin too good for Baltacha

ESPN staff
January 19, 2011
Caroline Wozniacki, like her dress, was in full flow against Vania King © Getty Images

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Australian Open men's round-up:
Roddick survives test to extend run

Former world No.1 Justine Henin outclassed British No.1 Elena Baltacha 6-1 6-3 to maintain her impressive form in the early rounds of the Australian Open.

It was a gallant effort by Bally, who provided more of a nuisance in the second set when she started playing her natural game, but Henin stepped up a gear and broke the Brit to go 5-3 up before serving out the match after a tick over an hour. Henin's count of 22 winners to Baltacha's six proved the difference.

Baltacha said: "It was a really amazing experience to play a legend. I learnt so much from the match; what I've improved in my game from last year and also things I've got to get better at. In the second set, I was like: 'Just get into the match, get into the rally.' Then I really started enjoying it. I got the fist pumps again. I felt I really was in the match. At 4‑3, she stepped it up a notch."

Henin will next meet former quarter-finalist Svetlana Kuznetsova, who defeated Dutch player Arantxa Rus 6-1 6-4.

British interest in the women's draw came to an end on Wednesday when Anne Keothavong followed Baltacha in defeat. The British No. 2 stunned 30th seed Andrea Petkovic to snatch the opening set, but could not sustain her challenge as she fell 2-6 7-5 6-0.

Keothavong rattled off five games to take the opening set, but soon found herself a break down in the second, but dug deep to bring it back to 5-5, only to allow the German to break in the final game to level the scores. The tide had turned, and Petkovic never looked back, storming through the final set in just 23 minutes as Keothavong was left to rue 45 unforced errors.

Petkovic's reward is a third-round clash against seven-time grand slam champion Venus Williams, who survived an injury scare to hobble past world No. 97 Sandra Zahlavova. The No. 4 seed took a medical time out after losing the first-set tiebreak after sustaining a thigh injury, but she battled through to take a 6-7(6) 6-0 6-4 victory.

There was second-round joy for top seed Caroline Wozniacki, who spent less than an hour in the Melbourne sun on her way to victory. The queen of the court dismissed Vania King with ease, dropping just 25 points in her 6-1 6-0 demolition job.

"I definitely felt like I was playing good tennis today," Wozniacki said. "I was playing aggressively. I was playing my game and I felt comfortable out there. I think I took the balls early, I made her run. I had a couple of good net approaches ... I just think in general I played a really good and solid match."

Wozniacki will now meet No. 29 seed Dominika Cibulkova, who made it a strong start to Day Three for the seeds by overcoming Italy's Alberta Brianti 6-1 4-6 6-2. She was joined in the third round by eighth seed Victoria Azarenka, who progressed with ease as Andrea Hlavackova notched up 37 unforced errors in a 6-4 6-4 win for the Belarusian.

Former champion Maria Sharapova was forced to dig herself out of trouble after a 7-6(3) 6-3 win over Virginie Razzano. Sharapova was 0-3 and three break points down in the first set against the world No. 100, but hung on to triumph in straight sets.

Meanwhile, French Open champion Francesca Schiavone squeezed into the third round after a stern test from Canadian qualifier Rebecca Marino. The No. 6 seed looked to be on course for a routine victory, but was pegged back by the 20-year-old, playing in her first Australian Open, and was pushed all the way before eventually triumphing 6-3 5-7 9-7 after nearly two-and-a-half hours on court.

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