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Davenport, Venus cruising at Aussie Open

1/22/2005

MELBOURNE, Australia -- World No. 1 Lindsay
Davenport drew on her wealth of experience to overcome teenager
Nicole Vaidisova 6-2, 6-4 and reach the fourth round of the
Australian Open on Saturday.

The top-seeded Davenport, 28, was pushed hard by the
precociously talented 15-year-old Czech, but Davenport's greater
experience proved crucial as she clinched victory in just over
an hour.

Vaidisova, appearing in only her second Grand Slam event,
showed why she has been tipped to become the next big thing in
women's tennis as she caused Davenport all sorts of problems
with her searing groundstrokes.

However, once Davenport had taken the first set, she was
always in control and sealed victory with her eighth ace to set
up a meeting with 13th seed Karolina Sprem of Croatia in the
last 16.

No. 8 Venus Williams won the last nine games in a one-hour, 6-3,
6-0 rout of Anna Smashnova.
After holding at 3-3, Smashnova never had more than two points
on her serve.
Tenth-seeded Alicia Molik closed a 6-3, 6-2 win over Tatiana
Panova with an ace, and advances to face Williams.
"Bring it on!" Molik told the crowd at Rod Laver Arena after
reaching the fourth round and matching her best run at a major.

French Open champion Anastasia
Myskina joined Russia's two other Grand Slam title holders in the
fourth round when American Lisa Raymond withdrew from their match
Saturday.
Raymond injured abdominal muscles on her left side in the first
game of a second-round doubles match on Friday and her status was
in doubt for the third-round singles.
Raymond, a 31-year-old American, reached the quarterfinals at Melbourne
Park last year, upsetting Venus Williams -- then seeded third -- in
the third round.
"I felt a little tightness in my back in my warmup before my
doubles match. I received some treatment before the match and
thought I was going to be OK, but in the first game I hit a
forehand and felt a sharp pain in my left oblique," Raymond said.
"I'm extremely disappointed because I couldn't have asked to
play better in my first two matches," she added.
Raymond said she'd been advised to rest for four to six weeks
and hoped to be back for the Indian Wells tournament in California
starting March 9.

Information from The Associated Press and Reuters was used in this report.