Mauresmo makes smooth progress

Amelie Mauresmo today became the first woman to book her place in the fourth round of the Australian Open.

Amelie Mauresmo today became the first woman to book her place in the fourth round of the Australian Open.

The second seed defeated Serbia’s Ana Ivanovic 6-2 7-5 in Melbourne and will face Russia’s Evgenia Linetskaya in the last 16.

Mauresmo surprisingly lost the opening set of her previous match against Dinara Safina – sister of men’s fourth seed Marat Safin – but was always in control against the world number 82.

“I started much better this time and was focused on the start of the match,” said Mauresmo, who has failed to reach a grand slam final since her defeat to Martina Hingis here in 1999.

“I didn’t want anything like the second round to happen today. I played a solid match, pretty consistent and went a little more to the net which I should do. I’m pretty satisfied.”

Linetskaya defeated 21st seed Amy Frazier 6-3 6-4 while another Russian, Vera Douchevina, also advanced to the fourth round with a 7-5 6-4 win over Anna-Lena Groenefeld of Germany.

Fifth seed Svetlana Kuznetsova then made it three Russian women into the fourth round - with the possibility of six more to follow - with a hard-fought win over Mariana Diaz-Oliva from Argentina.

Kuznetsova, battling to put the controversy over her reported positive drug test behind her, eased through the first set 6-3 but needed a tie-break in the second to advance to the last 16 where she will face compatriot Douchevina.

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