At the Australian Open today

Originally Published: January 21, 2004
By Cynthia Faulkner | ESPN.com

Several American women, including Venus Williams, have made it through the bottom half to today's third round matches. Williams will likely eliminate one of them as she takes on No. 25 Lisa Raymond, who has never defeated Williams or made it past this round in Melbourne before.

No. 9 Chanda Rubin plays Russian Elena Likhotseva. Rubin, whose play at times runs hot and cold, owns a 3-1 record against Likhotseva.

Making her 15th appearance at the Aussie, Amy Frazier hasn't been past the second round since 1995. She has a 3-1 record against another veteran Silvia Farina Elia, who has never been past the fourth round Down Under.

Nadal
Nadal

Potential show stoppers
  • The most interesting match of the day on the men's side is the night match on Rod Laver Arena between Aussie Lleyton Hewitt and Spaniard Rafael Nadal. No. 15 Hewitt seems rested, fit and hitting well after taking four months off last fall. Nadal, at age 17, is in the third round of his first Australian Open. He started the year by reaching his first ATP final. And did we mention that hard court is not his best surface? Pay attention to this guy. We watched him on grass at Wimbledon and hard court at the U.S. Open and felt like -- no hype -- we were seeing the future of tennis. Can't wait for him to be healthy on his best surface at the French Open.

  • There are two other Aussies on this side of the draw. On a hot streak, No. 10 Mark Philippoussis takes on Mario Ancic of Croatia. Things don't look too good for the remaining Aussie. Wild card Todd Reid is up against No. 2 Roger Federer.

  • Kim Clijsters plays Dinara Safina, Marat Safin's younger sister. Clijsters has zipped through the opening rounds so far, but Safina hasn't dropped a set, either. Safina, 17, reached the fourth round at the U.S. Open, so she can play well enough on hard court to at least give Clijsters a better workout than her last 6-0, 6-0 match.

    Myskina
    Myskina

  • They're both Russian, but they've never even played each other before. No. 6 Anastasia Myskina (recall a Godiva-like pose in a photo shoot), reached the quarterfinals at the Aussie last year, while Maria Sharapova (another Kournikova look-alike), fell in the first round in her debut last year.

  • Britain's Tim Henman attempts to reach his fourth consecutive round of 16 as he goes up against Guillermo Canas of Argentina. Canas, who missed almost eight months of action last season, reached the third round in 2002.

    Cynthia Faulkner is the tennis editor for ESPN.com.

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