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Henin-Hardenne rallies to win third-round match

9/1/2006 - Tennis

NEW YORK -- Second-seeded Justine Henin-Hardenne stumbled out of the gate as women's singles staged third-round encounters Friday at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

She rallied to beat Ai Sugiyama 4-6, 6-1, 6-0. The victor will meet 21st-seeded Israeli Shahar Peer in the fourth round.

"Now it's getting very serious," Henin-Hardenne said. "The opponents are
playing better and better. It's very hard.

"But when I play my game I do it well. The fact is that I just
have to keep fighting on every point. Today it was a little bit
harder for me than in the other matches."

There was an upset as ninth-seeded Czech Nicole Vaidisova falling prey to 19th-seeded Serbian Jelena Jankovic.

Vaidisova gave up a one-set lead to hand Jankovic a 5-7, 6-3,
6-2 victory on Court 11. The Serb next will face sixth
seed Svetlana Kuznetsova, who beat fellow Russian Anastassia Rodionova 6-3, 6-0.

In the same quarter as Henin-Hardenne, 10th-seeded American Lindsay Davenport, the
1998 winner, was to face No. 22 Katarina Srebotnik of Slovenia in a
night match, but play was postponed by rain.

The winner awaits either seventh-seeded Swiss
Patty Schnyder or No. 26 Marion Bartoli of France.

Another Russian, No. 4 Elena Dementieva beat
compatriot Vera Zvonareva, seeded 33rd, to ease into a
third-round clash with unseeded Frenchwoman Aravane Rezai, who
claimed her second seed of the week by beating No. 20 Maria
Kirilenko.

The Associated Press and SportsTicker contributed to this report.