Wozniacki, Sharapova advance

Caroline Wozniacki celebrates during her match against Dominika Cibulkova at the Australian Open on...

Caroline Wozniacki celebrates during her match against Dominika Cibulkova at the Australian Open on Friday. (REUTERS/Tim Wimborne)

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, Last Updated: 10:26 AM ET

MELBOURNE, Australia -- World No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki and 14th-seeded former No. 1 Maria Sharapova moved into the fourth round, while former top-ranked stars Venus Williams and Justine Henin exited the 2011 Australian Open on Friday.

The Danish Wozniacki took advantage of 41 unforced errors to defeat 29th- seeded Dominika Cibulkova 6-4, 6-3 in 1 hour, 32 minutes at Melbourne Park. The 20-year-old Wozniacki won five-of-10 break points against her Slovakian counterpart.

"I felt great out there today on the court," Wozniacki said. "You know, I think I played a pretty good match. I am happy I got the revenge since I lost to her in Sydney last week. It was not an easy match."

The 2009 U.S. Open finalist Wozniacki will meet Latvian Anastasija Sevastova, a 6-1, 6-3 winner over Vesna Manasieva of Russia, in the fourth round.

The fourth-seeded Williams was trailing 30th-seeded German Andrea Petkovic 0-1 in the opening set on Friday when the seven-time major champion retired due to an injury after playing only seven points. This marked the first time that Williams retired from a Grand Slam match.

In the second game against Petkovic, Williams cried out in pain after returning a serve. She then clutched her right side and decided that her fortnight was over.

"Obviously I just couldn't play," Williams said. "I couldn't move, it was too painful."

The 30-year-old Williams entered Friday's match with her right thigh heavily taped because of an injury she suffered in the first set of her second-round match on Wednesday. She said her latest injury was in her "psoas" muscle, which flexes the hip and spinal column.

"The last 48 hours, I just did as much pain management as I could," she said. "A lot of times when you play, you get that adrenalin and that blocks pain. I just didn't get enough of that today. I was hoping for some magic that I could recover."

"It's super disappointing because this is just not how I envisioned my Australian Open being," Williams added. "But I have peace of mind that I really gave more than my best to be out there."

"I'm just going to focus obviously on getting healthy and coming back, because I love tennis and I've got a lot of great tennis in me. I love my job, so no end in sight."

Petkovic was stunned by the sudden end to the bout.

"I feel very weird about how the things went," Petkovic said. "It's a pity, and I feel very sorry. I just hope she gets better, she's such a great champion."

Williams has never titled in Melbourne, where she was the 2003 runner-up to her younger sister Serena, who skipped this 2011 Aussie fortnight because of an injury of her own.

Meanwhile, 23rd-seeded former top-five Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova upended the 11th-seeded Henin 6-4, 7-6 (10-8). Henin was last year's Aussie Open runner-up to Serena.

The Belgian Henin, the 2004 Australian Open champion, landed only 57% of her first serves and committed 41 unforced errors in falling to Kuznetsova for just a third time in 19 meetings.

"Well, of course it's disappointing to lose like this," the seven-time Grand Slam winner Henin said. "She is just been better than me, especially in the important moments. I got some opportunities in the second set to come back, but I never really took the lead in this match."

Henin was also a Melbourne runner-up in 2006.

Kuznetsova will next do battle with Italy's Francesca Schiavone, a 6-0, 7-6 (7-2) winner over Romanian Monica Niculescu. The sixth-seeded Schiavone is the reigning French Open champ.

Sharapova dropped the first set before bouncing back to defeat German Julia Goerges 4-6, 6-4, 6-4.

The Russian Sharapova committed 29 unforced errors and 11 double faults, but found a way to defeat Goerges for a second time in as many meetings. The 23- year-old Russian popped six aces and cashed in four-of-six break-point opportunities on Day 5.

Sharapova, who captured the Aussie Open in 2008 and was the 2007 runner-up to Serena, will meet Petkovic in the fourth round.

Other winners Friday were ninth-seeded Chinese Li Na, who defeated Czech Barbora Zahlavova Strycova 6-2, 6-1, and eighth-seeded Belarusian Victoria Azarenka, who pasted South African Chanelle Scheepers 6-3, 6-3. Li was an Aussie Open semifinalist last year and upset Kim Clijsters in a final in Sydney last week.

Azarenka and Li will do battle here on Sunday.

The third round will wrap-up on Saturday, including matches for second- seeded U.S. Open and Wimbledon runner-up Vera Zvonareva, a third-seeded U.S. Open champion Clijsters and fifth-seeded 2010 French Open runner-up Samantha Stosur of Australia. Zvonareva will take on 31st-seeded Czech Lucie Safarova, while the 2004 Aussie Open runner-up Clijsters will encounter France's Alize Cornet and Stosur will battle 25h-seeded Czech Petra Kvitova, a surprise Wimbledon semifinalist last summer and titlist in Brisbane two weeks ago.


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