Henin, Sharapova, Serena win to advance to quarters

Updated: January 20, 2008, 9:02 AM ET
Associated Press

MELBOURNE, Australia -- Justine Henin and Maria Sharapova set up a quarterfinal showdown at the Australian Open, making quick work of overmatched opponents Sunday in sharp contrast to the long overnight session at Melbourne Park.

The top-ranked Henin beat Hsieh Su-wei, the first Taiwanese player through to the fourth round of a Grand Slam event, 6-2, 6-2 in 74 minutes Sunday to extend her winning streak to 32 matches.

She next faces Maria Sharapova, who routed No. 11 Elena Dementieva 6-2, 6-0 in 62 minutes.

"I always know to beat her I have to be at my best," Henin said of Sharapova. "She's a real fighter."

The fifth-ranked Sharapova was expected to have a tough time against Dementieva, but broke her fellow Russian's serve six of seven times, including at love to finish her off.

"I have always had really tough games against her and I wanted to make sure I kept my focus all the way through," Sharapova said.

Defending champion Serena Williams, who went through periods of inconsistency in her first three matches, was sharper and more consistent in a 6-4, 6-4 win over No. 12 Nicole Vaidisova.

Australian Open scores

In-progress scores and results from every match from both sides of the draw throughout the event. Complete scores

Williams faltered only while serving up a break at 4-3, with Vaidisova breaking to even the set. But Williams broke right back. Vaidosova smashed her racket in anger, then netted a forehand on match point as Williams held at love to finish off the match.

To go along with nine aces, Williams had 23 winners and only 11 unforced errors as she seems to be improving in every match. She next plays No. 3 Jelena Jankovic, a 7-6 (3), 6-1 winner over Australia's Casey Dellacqua.

"Oh, wow. It will be tough for sure," Jankovic said. "We've had some tough matches. I've beaten [her] a few times, so we will see."

In other women's third-round matches carried over from Saturday: No. 9 Daniela Hantuchova beat Virginia Ruano Pascual 6-2, 6-3, No. 14 Nadia Petrova defeated Ekaterina Makarova 6-1, 7-6 (8), and Marta Domachowska overcame China's Li Na 2-6, 6-2, 6-4.


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press