Gasquet, Hewitt both beaten at Australian Open warmup
SYDNEY, Australia -- Lleyton Hewitt and top seed Richard Gasquet were upset in the second round of the Sydney International on Wednesday, setting back their preparations for next week's Australian Open, while Justine Henin breezed through her first match of the year.
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Hewitt lost a hard-fought match to fellow Australian Chris Guccione 7-6 (4), 7-6 (2), while Russia's Dmitry Tursunov rallied to beat France's Gasquet 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 at Sydney Olympic Park Tennis Center.
"The major tournament hasn't started yet, so there's no point getting worried," Hewitt said. "I felt, all-in-all today, the ball-striking was pretty good."
Tursunov outlasted Gasquet in some intense rallies to meet Sebastien Grosjean of France, who cruised past No. 8 seed Fernando Verdasco of Spain, 6-3, 6-4.
"It's not a big problem for the Australian Open because I'm ready," Gasquet said. "I did two matches here and no pain, so it's OK."
In other men's second round matches, France's Fabrice Santoro beat Belgium's Steve Darcis 6-1, 6-3, Russian Evgeny Korolev beat Czech Ivo Minar 6-2, 6-3 and Czech Radek Stepanek ground out a 7-5, 2-6, 6-4 win over Italian Andreas Seppi.
In the women's quarterfinals, second-seeded Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia made short work of Francesca Schiavone of Italy 6-4, 6-0, while fourth-seeded Ana Ivanovic of Serbia beat Katarina Srebotnik of Slovenia, 6-3, 3-6, 6-2.
Henin reached the semifinals after only 52 minutes on court in the tournament.
The two-time Sydney champion received a first-round bye and a second-round walkover, before cruising past Estonian qualifier Kaia Kanepi 6-2 6-0 on Wednesday. Henin will play No. 4 Ana Ivanovic in the semifinals after the Serb beat Katarina Srebotnik 6-3, 3-6, 6-2.
"It's been a strange start in the tournament for me, winning my first match not playing." Henin said. "So I'm happy with the way I played today."
Henin is aiming for a second Australian Open crown after missing last year due to her marriage break up. The Belgian retired midway through the 2006 final against Amelie Mauresmo due to a stomach upset.
"I feel really comfortable about what happened and I have no regrets. I was feeling so bad. I wasn't healthy enough to play that match."
No. 2 Svetlana Kuznetsova also progressed to the last four after beating Italian Francesca Schiavone 6-4 6-0.
She will play Nicole Vaidisova, a 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 winner over third-seeded Jelena Jankovic in the late quarterfinal.
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press
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