Davenport to face Petrova in fourth round
Third seed Lindsay Davenport and 19th-rated Russian Nadia Petrova advanced to a fourth-round matchup at the US Open with lopsided triumphs here Friday.
Davenport, the only former US Open champion in the field, needed just 42 minutes to dispatch Hungary's Melinda Czink 6-0, 6-2 while 14th seed Amanda Coetzer of South Africa lasted 65 minutes before Petrova advanced 6-0, 6-1.
Also into the round of 16 was Russia's 36th-ranked Elena Likhovtseva, who beat 37th-rated Fabiola Zuluaga of Colombia 7-6 (7/4), 6-4.
Venus and Serena Williams, who each have won two of the past four US Open singles crowns, are out with injuries. That opens the door to a Grand Slam title to several women, including 27-year-old American Davenport.
"Without the Willamses, it's a great opportunity. I'm still eager in that regard," Davenport said. "You never know how many times you're going to get here."
Davenport won the first set in just 15 minutes and 92nd-ranked Czink, in only her second Slam event, was helpless.
There was no sign of the nagging left foot injury that forced Davenport to pull out of a WTA final a week ago, although she knows she will have to elevate her game now that she has reached the round of 16.
"I think I'm ready to go," Davenport said. "I'm happy. I've been able to get through. Now I'm going to have to raise it up a level. I'm going have to get past my foot and I think I can do that."
Despite her seeding, Davenport refused to put herself among the title favorites, reserving that status for world number one Kim Clijsters, second seed Justine Henin-Hardenne and three-time Slam winner Jennifer Capriati.
"I would put them ahead of me," Davenport said, adding that her title hopes were "not as high as if I was 100 percent but my foot is feeling really great."
Blocking her path to the quarter-finals is Petrova, who breezed through the first set against Coetzer in 27 minutes, smacking 24 winners past the 31-year-old veteran, who had only two in response.
"What really got me was that she served so well," Coetzer said. "If she got some small opportunity, she could get a break. That put a lot of pressure on my serve. That first set slipped away and I just couldn't get it back."
While women began the third round, men were completing the fourth round, with second-seeded Wimbledon champion Roger Federer of Switzerland and fourth seed Andy Roddick of the United States scheduled in later matches.