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Mauresmo, Nalbandian advance but Hingis falls

Martina Hingis lost on Sunday in the third round of the $6.9 million ATP and WTA hardcourt tournament.

india Updated: Mar 27, 2006 11:51 IST

World number one Amelie Mauresmo and third seed David Nalbandian advanced while Martina Hingis lost here Sunday in the third round at a $6.9 million ATP and WTA hardcourt tournament.

Australian Open champion Mauresmo ousted French compatriot Marion Bartoli 6-4, 6-0 while Argentina's Nalbandian bounced back strong after dropping a tie-breaker to bounce Czech Tomas Berdych 6-7 (3/7), 6-1, 6-0.

Hingis battled to the finish but Russia's Svetlana Kuznetsova eliminated the Swiss star 3-6, 6-1, 7-6 (11/9).

Hingis, a five-time Grand Slam champion coming off a three-year retirement, had beaten Kuznetsova in a Doha quarter-final.

A confident Mauresmo, now 3-0 against Bartoli, advanced to a round of 16 match-up with Serbian Ana Ivanovic, who eliminated Ukranian Alona Bondarenko 6-3, 5-7, 6-3.

"Having the kind of wins I've had in the last three or four months gave me a lot of confidence and really put me into a position where I'm pretty relaxed now in the way I handle every tournament, in the way I'm walking on the court.

"Even though I can still have bad days, I feel much more comfortable now than I used to," Mauresmo said.

Asked to compare the achievements of capturing her first Grand Slam title and reclaiming the world number one ranking, Mauresmo found the elusive title as emotional as her first trip atop the rankings.

"The first time I was number one was very emotional for me, a little bit like it was in Australia. But becoming again number one was not so important to me, so probably the Grand Slam this year was more important to me," she said.

Kuznetsova will face another Swiss player, seventh seed Patty Schnyder, for a spot in the quarter-finals. Schnyder eliminated Slovenia's Katarina Srebotnik 7-6 (7/3), 6-3.

Nalbandian will next face Czech Radek Stepanek, who outlasted Chile's Nicolas Massu 6-7 (6/8), 7-6 (7/5), 7-5. Nalbandian overcame a tough start to breeze in the last two sets.

"He started playing very good in the beginning and I couldn't do my best shots in the first set," Nalbandian said. "So it was a very close set, very tough. Both of us had a break points, nobody could make it.

"And then I start playing better. My returns come better all the time, and he falls down a little bit and I always, after the first set, play better, better and better. That's the result."

Fifth-seeded Russian Nikolay Davydenko was a break down in the second and third sets but fought back to defeat Australian Open runner-up Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus, 2-6, 6-2, 7-5.

"Normally I don't make so many mistakes if I play from the baseline, but sometimes you feel pressure," said Davydenko. "Sometimes you try to make winners but you make unforced errors."

Russian fourth seed Maria Sharapova beat Italian qualifier Maria Elena Camerin 6-2, 7-6 (7/2) while Japan's Ai Sugiyama defeated Russian Elena Likhovtseva 3-6, 7-5, 6-0.

China's Zheng Jie downed Germany's Anna-Lena Groenefeld 6-4, 7-5 to book a fourth-round date with American Jill Craybas, who followed her upset of Belgian second seed Kim Clijsters by beating Czech Klara Koukalova 6-1, 6-2.

First Published: Mar 27, 2006 11:51 IST