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Rediff.com  » Sports » Mauresmo, Kuznetsova enter fourth round

Mauresmo, Kuznetsova enter fourth round

January 19, 2007 11:07 IST

Second seed Amelie Mauresmo stayed on course to defend her Australian Open title with a 6-3 6-1 win over Czech Eva Birnerova in the third round on Friday.

The 27-year-old Frenchwoman, who won her maiden grand slam title at Melbourne Park 12 months ago, had too many attacking weapons for the world number 83 to handle and sealed victory in 62 minutes.

Mauresmo will play unseeded Czech Lucie Safarova or Anastasiya Yakimova of Belarus in the last 16.

Kuznetsova outmuscles Kirilenko

Third seed Svetlana Kuznetsova overcame a spirited challenge from fellow Russian Maria Kirilenko to secure a 6-1, 6-4 victory in the third round on Friday.

Kuznetsova, U.S. Open champion in 2004, proved too strong for her opponent, seeded 26th, using her powerful groundstrokes to move her round the court.

Kirilenko, 19, rallied in the second set to level at 4-4 but Kuznetsova stepped up a gear to win the next two games and clinch victory in one hour 19 minutes on her third match point.

Kuznetsova will play Frenchwoman Tatiana Golovin, seeded 20th, or Shahar Peer of Israel, the 16th seed, in the fourth round.

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