Davenport, Venus cruising at Aussie Open

Updated: January 22, 2005, 3:40 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

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.

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