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Myskina, Hantuchova advance

Former French Open champion Anastasia Myskina overcame a spirited fight from China's Zheng Jie 6-3 6-7 (7) 6-1 in the first round.

india Updated: Feb 22, 2006 13:10 IST

Former French Open champion Anastasia Myskina overcame a spirited fight from China's Zheng Jie 6-3 6-7 (7) 6-1 in the first round of the Dubai Women's Open.

Sixth-seeded Myskina committed nine double faults in a searching 2-hour, 17-minute exam by Zheng, who was still seeking her first win of the season. Myskina appeared after reaching the indoor semifinals at Tokyo and a two-week rest.

"She is a fine player, and I am really happy to get a tough opening match in the tournament," Myskina said yesterday. "I needed time to adjust to the change playing indoors in freezing conditions in Tokyo to outdoors here.

"I figured out her game and the third set went according to my plans."

The Russian has got as far as the quarterfinals in all four previous appearances in Dubai, but she'll face a tough second-round match against either wild card and 2001 champ Martina Hingis or Indian star Sania Mirza.

Myskina advanced with two other Russians, Elena Likhovtseva and Vera Dushevina, and eighth-seeded Daniela Hantuchova.

Likhovtseva defeated 2005 runner-up Jelena Jankovic of Serbia-Montenegro 7-5 7-5.

She will play defending champion and second-seeded Lindsay Davenport, who will be playing her second event of the year after a quarterfinal run at the Australian Open. Dushevina was a comfortable 6-3, 6-1 winner over Marion Bartoli of France for a fifth straight time, and moves on to meet third-seeded compatriot Maria Sharapova.

Hantuchova, a quarterfinalist last year, scraped through an error-strewn win over China's Li Na 3-6 6-4 7-6 (4).

First Published: Feb 21, 2006 12:54 IST