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French Open champ Myskina tumbles

9/3/2004

NEW YORK -- French Open champion Anastasia Myskina fell to fellow Russian Anna Chakvetadze
7-6 (3), 6-3 at the U.S. Open on Thursday.

Also Thursday night, Venus Williams struggled against a qualifier who hadn't won a main-draw match until this week, but defeated Israeli Shikha Uberoi 7-5, 6-1 to join sister Serena, No. 20 Chanda Rubin and wild card Angela Haynes in the third round -- the first time four black women have reached that stage in the same year.

Earlier, Lindsay Davenport's summer of success stayed on course
while Justine Henin-Hardenne's was nearly derailed.

The fifth-seeded Davenport defeated Arantxa Parra Santonja 6-4,
6-2 and advanced to the third round of the season's final Slam.
Then, top-seeded Henin-Hardenne survived a scare and held off
qualifier Tzipi Obziler 6-2, 5-7, 6-2.

The fourth-seeded Myskina had all sorts of trouble with her serve, managing just
47 percent for the match and just 23 percent in the second set.
There were 37 unforced errors leading to an early exit for a player
who came in with a chance to overtake Henin-Hardenne for No. 1 in
the world.

"I didn't want to fight. I didn't want to run," Myskina said. "I didn't want to do anything."

She also didn't exactly want to hype her opponent as another rising Russian star, offering this
assessment: "Let's say she's OK."

Davenport also had some difficult moments, but they were nothing
compared to the struggle Henin-Hardenne endured.

Beset by an unusual rash of early unforced errors, Davenport was
broken in the fourth game of the first set and it seemed to get her
attention. She broke right back to keep the set on serve and then
broke Parra Santonja in the ninth game. Serving for the set,
Davenport won it at love, finishing with an ace.

After that, she took charge, seizing every opportunity, sweeping
through the first five games of the second set. After 13 unforced
errors in the first set, her game seemed to settle down.

But serving for the match, Davenport was broken again, plagued
by double faults. It was a momentary interruption. The next time
she served, she took care of business, again finishing with an ace.

Hampered by knee and foot injuries over the last few years,
she's healthy now, playing confident, consistent tennis on her
favorite surface.

"I knew who this player was," Davenport said. "She came out
hitting the ball pretty hard., I was a little on my heels in the
beginning., I felt it took me a while to get going., I have to do
something to get off to a quicker start in the next match."

Santonja thought she had missed an opportunity.

"She was making more errors," she said. "Then, when it was
3-1, she began playing more solidly. When she broke me back, I lost
a bit of confidence there. I had my chances there, but after the
first set, I couldn't win the match.

"When you play with her, you don't have long points -- two
shots, and it's over."

Henin-Hardenne struggled with a viral infection that limited her
summer schedule. But the defending U.S. Open champion warmed up for
this event by winning the gold medal at the Athens Olympics, a
victory that included a stirring comeback from being down 1-5 in
the third set of the semifinals against Myskina.

There were more dramatics against the 31-year-old Obziler,
ranked No. 133 in the world and playing in her first Open.

Henin-Hardenne struggled with her serve, committing eight double
faults and 47 unforced errors. She was broken seven times, once as
she served for the match in the second set. She was shaky on some
shots and sloppy on others and had an unexpected battle that
stretched 2 hours, 14 minutes in the second round of the
tournament.

"Every match is a test," Henin-Hardenne said. "At this level,
you need to be at your top all the time.

"It wasn't my day today. I was out of my rhythm. She didn't give me a chance to get rhythm. Maybe I wasn't ready to play a lot of rallies."

Also, No. 19 Silvia Farina Elia defeated Katarina Srebotnik 6-2, 6-1

Maria Sharapova defeated Jelena
Jankovic 6-0, 6-7 (5), 6-1; the Russian teen defeated Laura
Granville 7-5 in the third set of her opening match. Jankovic faded
after getting treated for a left hip strain. Williams looked to be
in trouble in the early stages against Shikha Uberoi before winning
7-5, 6-1.