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Petra dashes Aussie hopes, Rafa cruises

sports Updated: Jan 22, 2011 23:59 IST

Agencies
Highlight Story

Czech player Petra Kvitova ended hopes of a local winner when she downed Australian fifth seed Samantha Stosur 7-6 (7/5), 6-3 in the third round of the Australian Open on Saturday.

Australian fans were hoping Stosur could be the first home-grown winner since Chris O'Neil in 1978, but she was outplayed by the 20-year-old Kvitova.

Third seed Kim Clijsters survived her first test to beat Frenchwoman Alize Cornet 7-6 6-3 and advance to the last 16.

Second-seeded Vera Zvonareva too kept alive her bid for a third consecutive Grand Slam final with a 6-3, 7-6 (9) win over Lucie Safarova.

Nadal storms ahead
Rafael Nadal survived a brief scare against local teenager Bernard Tomic to reach the Australian Open last 16 Saturday, as women's favourite Kim Clijsters also battled through.

Nadal, who was surprisingly broken twice by the confident Australian 18-year-old in the second, recovered strongly to win 6-2, 7-5, 6-3.

The 24-year-old Spaniard will next play Marin Cilic after the Croatian 15th seed defeated fellow five-set specialist John Isner 4-6, 6-2, 6-7 (5/7), 7-6 (7/2), 9-7 in 4hr 33min.

Fifth-seeded Andy Murray too had little trouble beating Guillermo Garcia Lopez 6-1, 6-1, 6-2.

2008 runner-up Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France losing 3-6, 6-3, 3-6, 6-1, 6-1 to Alexandr Dolgopolov.

Milos Raonic, a 20-year-old Canadian qualifier with the fastest serve in the first two rounds of the tournament at 143 mph, fired 32 aces while pushing aside Mikhail Youzhny with a 6-4, 7-5, 4-6, 6-4 win.

Flavia Pennetta also continued her good run by beating Shahar Peer 3-6, 7-6 (7/3), 6-4.

Former finalist Marcos Baghdatis retired from his third-round match due to a reported groin injury.

He was trailing the match 6-7 (5), 6-2, 6-1, 4-3 when went to the net and shook hands with Jurgen Melzer of Austria.