Top women's pair cruise through in Melbourne

Kim Clijsters and Li Na, last year’s champion and runner-up respectively, eased into the third round of the Australian Open today, dropping just five games between them.

Kim Clijsters and Li Na, last year’s champion and runner-up respectively, eased into the third round of the Australian Open today, dropping just five games between them.

Li was first on Rod Laver Arena and brushed aside the challenge of home hope Olivia Rogowska 6-2 6-2.

Clijsters was even more ruthless in dispatching France’s Stephanie Foretz Gacon 6-0 6-1 in a 47-minute mismatch.

Li, the fifth seed and last year’s French Open champion, dropped serve early but responded with three breaks of her own to cruise through the first set.

And there was never any chance of a comeback as she broke the Australian wild card’s serve twice more to advance in just 62 minutes.

Clijsters also broke five times as she again proved the hip injury which forced her out of the Brisbane International is on the mend.

“I felt like I was hitting the ball well, seeing the ball well. I’m happy with the win,” she said.

Clijsters will next meet Slovakia’s Daniela Hantuchova, who beat Lesia Tsurenko 4-6 6-4 6-3, while Li takes on Anabel Medina Garrigues, a 6-1 6-0 victor over Olga Govortsova.

One seed did lose early on the third day, though, number 16 Shuai Peng going down 6-2 6-4 to Czech Iveta Benesova.

World number one Caroline Wozniacki was forced to hit back from a second-set deficit to see off Georgian Anna Tatishvili 6-1 7-6 (7/4).

Wozniacki, still seeking her first grand slam crown, cruised through the opener only for Tatishvili to storm into a 4-1 lead in the second.

She fought her way back level, though, taking it to a tie-break which she won to advance to a meeting with Pauline Parmentier or Monica Niculescu.

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