Kuznetsova, Chakvetadze shocked at Aussie Open; Venus wins

1/19/2008 - Tennis

MELBOURNE, Australia -- While a near-upset of Roger Federer in the men's draw was the talk of the Australian Open, the women's draw was turned upside down by the genuine article on Saturday as 18-year-old Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland upset No. 2 Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-3, 6-4.

The 29th-seeded Radwanska, who won junior titles at Wimbledon in
2005 and the French Open in 2006, broke Kuznetsova's serve at 4-4
in the second set.

Kuznetsova, the 2004 U.S. Open champion and last year's finalist
in New York, hit a forehand into the net on match point, allowing
Radwanska to advance to the fourth round.

Radwanska, who only finished high school last year, knocked
out Maria Sharapova -- also a second seed -- in round three of
last year's U.S. Open.

In other results Saturday, fourth-seeded Ana Ivanovic reached the fourth round with a 6-3,
6-4 victory over No. 28 Katarina Srebotnik, while No. 6 Anna
Chakvetadze dropped a 6-7 (6), 6-1, 6-2 decision to No. 27 Maria
Kirilenko and No. 8 Venus Williams overcame a slow start to beat No. 31 Sania Mirza 7-6 (0), 6-4.

"Both matches I had nothing to lose. Just play and try my
best and I did it twice," said Radwanska, who had lost all
three of her previous encounters with Kuznetsova.

"This is a pretty tough loss because I think I've been in
the best shape ever in Australian Open, and I just didn't make
it work," Kuznetsova said.

"It's pretty simple. I think I beat myself up out there,
so I didn't do much right things. I was not playing against her, I was playing against me."

"I wasn't doing the right things and I lost the match,"
Kuznetsova added. "Playing like this I deserved to lose."

Kirilenko dumped Chakvetadze after a slow start. She used
to train at the same club as her opponent in Moscow and had not
beaten her compatriot since 2005.

"The last few times I lost [to] her, both in Indian Wells,
I got really pissed, you know," Kirilenko told reporters. "Oh,
my God, I beat her every time and now I'm losing.

"I was always the best ... when I was small, in juniors.
Then the last two years she has [been] very successful [and]
wins everything, so she became a top 10 player."

As she did during her last match, eighth-ranked Williams
started slow but played her best when she
needed it most in beating Mirza.

Mirza broke early and served for the first set at 5-3, only to
see Williams break back. The Indian star fended off two set points
while serving at 5-6 to force a tiebreaker, where Williams was at
her best, refusing to drop a point.

Williams had five aces in the second set when she dropped only
seven points in five service games. She broke Mirza to pull ahead
at 4-3, then held serve the rest of the way.

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