Hingis reaches quarters of Australian for eighth time
MELBOURNE, Australia -- Martina Hingis advanced to the quarterfinals of the Australian Open with a hard-fought 6-1, 7-6 (10-8) win over Australian Samantha Stosur on Monday.
Hingis, 8-0 in fourth-round matches at the Australian, will now play second-seeded Kim Clijsters, who beat Italy's Francesca Schiavone 7-6 (7-5), 6-4.
"Making the last eight coming into this event, I would have never thought I got that far," Hingis said. "Now here I am. Really no one can take that away from me anymore. Just really happy right now."
After winning the first set in 23 minutes, Hingis needed 68 to claim the second -- which featured a combined eight service breaks -- and the match.
"I started off very well, I knew that I had to be right there from the start - we both probably were very nervous," Hingis said. "I knew I couldn't give her any momentum."
Stosur, the last Australian in either singles draw, was two points from defeat in both the ninth and 12th games of the second set but rallied to force a tiebreaker. She held a 5-2 lead in the tiebreak before Hingis won the next four.
Stosur saved match point in a lengthy rally with Hingis on the 12th point, then saved another pair at 6-7 and 7-8. But the five-time Grand Slam champion finally converted on the 18th point when Stosur netted a forehand.
"Toward the end, I just don't want to remember the other finals I played here and lost in the second set," said Hingis, who blew four match points before losing to Jennifer Capriati in the 2002 final here.
Hingis and Clijsters will meet for the first time in a Grand Slam event.
Clijsters had trouble with her serve and had four double-faults and 43 unforced errors, but said she was happy just to keep advancing as she recovers from hip and back problems that have bothered her since last week.
"I was a bit scared," Clijsters said of the nagging injuries. "I've probably been in the physio room more in the last week than in my life. Hopefully it'll pay off."
Mauresmo made only two unforced errors in setting up a quarterfinal match against seventh-seeded Patty Schnyder, who dispatched 12th-seeded Anastasia Myskina 6-2, 6-1 in 55 minutes.
Vaidisova, a 16-year-old from the Czech Republic, is a rising star on the WTA Tour. But she was dominated by Mauresmo, a Frenchwoman who has reached at least the quarterfinals in 12 of her last 13 Grand Slams.
"I knew she had some up and downs, I knew that before the match," Mauresmo said. "Obviously, just putting the ball in and taking the opportunities when I would have them was probably going to be the key. I didn't think, though, that it was going to be this kind of score or this kind of a match."
Myskina, the 2004 French Open champion, produced an error-ridden performance against Schnyder, getting less than half her first serves in and committing 32 unforced errors.
The rest of the quarterfinal draw was set Sunday.
Top-seeded Lindsay Davenport set up a women's quarterfinal with Justine Henin-Hardenne, overcoming ankle pain and a second-set lapse to beat Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-2, 6-4. She needed treatment on her left ankle but expects to be fine.
Henin-Hardenne, the reigning French Open and 2004 Australian Open champion, advanced 6-0, 6-3 over Virginia Ruano Pascual.
Fourth-seeded Maria Sharapova went down a break in the second set but recovered to win six of the last seven games in a 6-4, 6-4 victory over Daniela Hantuchova, who ousted defending champion Serena Williams in the previous round.
Sharapova will meet another Russian in the quarterfinals -- Nadia Petrova, a 6-3, 6-1 winner over Elena Vesnina.
The Associated Press and SportsTicker contributed to this report.
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