Wozniacki rolls into third round

Sports Network

, Last Updated: 10:37 AM ET

MELBOURNE, Australia -- World No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki was an easy second-round winner Wednesday, while American Venus Williams battled through a groin injury to advance at the 2011 Australian Open.

Other winners were former champions Justine Henin and Maria Sharapova.

Wozniacki blitzed helpless American Vania King, 6-1, 6-0, in a mere 58 minutes on Wednesday. The 20-year-old Dane will next face Slovakia's Dominika Cibulkova, who fended off Italian Alberta Brianti, 6-1, 4-6, 6-2.

"I definitely felt like I was playing good tennis today," Wozniacki stated. "I was playing aggressively. I was playing my game and I felt comfortable out there."

The fourth-seeded Williams, meanwhile, managed to fight through her injury to beat Czech Sandra Zahlavova, 6-7 (6-8), 6-0, 6-4. Venus was forced to leave the court for a medical timeout at the end of the tiebreak, but returned to dominate the second set and pull out the victory.

"With an injury like that, you just don't know what to expect," said Williams. "So I was just really trying to get tough.

"I think this is probably the most acute injury that I've ever had. But I just wanted to stay on the court and try to survive and see if I could feel better another day."

Whether the seven-time Grand Slam champ and 2003 Aussie Open runner-up returns for a third-round match against Germany's Andrea Petkovic is unknown. Petkovic, the 30th seed, moved on with a three-set triumph over British qualifier Anne Keothavong.

Henin, the 11th seed, drubbed Brit Elena Baltacha, 6-1, 6-3, in 61 minutes. The Belgian star popped seven aces, including a match-ending one.

A seven-time major champion, Henin won the Aussie Open title back in 2004 and was also the runner-up in 2006 as well as last year to Serena Williams.

"I have a lot of good memories, almost all good memories, from Melbourne," Henin said. "I've been fighting hard the last few months and it's great to be back in Australia."

Up next for Henin, who's now 38-7 lifetime in Melbourne, will be former top- five Russian star Svetlana Kuznetsova, the 23rd seed at this Aussie fortnight. The two-time major titlist handled Dutchwoman Arantxa Rus, 6-1, 6-4, on Wednesday, but will have her hands full against Henin. Kuznetsova is just 2-16 lifetime against the former world. No. 1.

Sharapova, the 2008 Aussie Open champ, advanced to the third round with a 7-6 (7-3), 6-3 triumph over France's Virginie Razzano. The 14th-seeded Russian will next face German Julia Goerges, who topped No. 20 Kaia Kanepi of Estonia, 6-4, 3-6, 6-4.

"Looking back, obviously you want to play faster matches with an easier scoreline," Sharapova said about her second-round match. "That would be great, but it's also good to play these types of matches where you're put in a situation where you have to find a way to win, especially when your opponent is playing really well as well."

Sixth-seeded Italian Francesca Schiavone outlasted Canada's Rebecca Marino, 6-3, 5-7, 9-7, and will next meet Romania's Monica Niculescu, who dismissed Tsvetana Pironkova of Bulgaria, 6-4, 6-1. Eighth-seeded Belarusian Victoria Azarenka bested Czech Andrea Hlavackova, 6-4, 6-4, to set up a third-round encounter with South African Chanelle Scheepers, a three-set winner on Wednesday.

Also, ninth-seeded Li Na of China cruised to a 6-3, 6-2 win over Russia's Evgeniya Rodina and will next take on Barbora Strycova Zahlavova.

Russian Vesna Manasieva knocked out 15th-seeded Frenchwoman Marion Bartoli, 3-6, 6-3, 6-0, and will take on Latvia's Anastasija Sevastova in round three.

The second round continues Thursday with second-seeded Russian star Vera Zvonareva and U.S. Open champion Kim Clijsters highlighting play. Zvonareva, trying to reach a third straight Grand Slam final after finishing as the runner-up last year at both Wimbledon and the U.S. Open, will square off against Serbia's Bojana Jovanovski. Clijsters, the 2004 Aussie Open runner-up and a three-time U.S. Open champion, will face Spain's Carla Suarez Navarro.


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