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Russians lead the charge @ US Open

August 28, 2008 00:44 IST

Former champion Svetlana Kuznetsova recovered from a slow start to beat Romanian teenager Sorana Cirstea 7-6, 6-1 to reach the third round of the U.S. Open on Wednesday.

World number 53 Cirstea, in her first U.S. Open, had the 2004 champion worried when she broke in the sixth game to take a 4-2 lead.

But the Russian third seed broke straight back, won the tiebreak 7-3 and then ripped through the second set to seal a third-round clash with Slovenian 28th seed Katarina Srebotnik or Austrian Yvonne Meusburger.

Also fifth seed Nikolay Davydenko shrugged off his recent poor form to charge into the second round with a 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 win over Israel's Dudi Sela.

The Russian has not won back-to-back matches since winning a low-key claycourt tournament in Warsaw in June but seemed to have found his groove to dispatch Sela.

The 27-year-old's only stutter was when he was broken while serving for the match at 5-2 up in the third set but quickly regained his focus to end his 76th-ranked opponent's challenge in the next game.

Davydenko will take on Argentina's Agustin Calleri for a place in round three.

Olympic champion Elena Dementieva stepped up a gear to reach the third round with a 6-2, 6-1 demolition of Pauline Parmentier of France.

Having been pushed hard by Uzbekistan's Akgul Amanmuradova in her opening match, the Russian fifth seed was never in trouble and cruised past the world number 49 in 58 minutes.

Parmentier, 22, who has never been beyond round two at a grand slam, broke Dementieva twice but did not hold her own serve in the opening set.

An early break put Dementieva ahead in the second set and she cruised through to a meeting with unseeded Briton Anne Keothavong.

Keothavong became the first British woman to reach the third round of the U.S. Open since 1991 when she knocked out 25th seed Francesca Schiavone with a 6-2, 3-6, 6-4 win.

Keothavong, beaten by eventual champion Venus Williams in the second round at Wimbledon this year, made a promising start when she broke Schiavone in the opening game of the match.

But the Italian hit back to snare the second set and roared into a 4-2 lead in the decider. Keothavong, ranked 87th, refused to accept defeat and clawed back to seal victory and a third-round date with Olympic champion Elena Dementieva.

Jo Durie was the last British woman to reach the last 32 at Flushing Meadows. She eventually lost in the fourth round.

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