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Tennis: Hantuchova upsets Molik

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posted on Sep, 1 2004 @ 05:40 PM
Molik, coming off a bronze-medal performance at the Athens Olympics, joined No. 18 Karolina Sprem and No. 32 Meghann Shaughnessy, who lost Monday, and No. 24 Anna Smashnova-Pistolesi and 25th-seeded Elena Likhovtseva, who went out Tuesday.

"I had a bit of a mental lapse," said Molik, who won the Nordic Light Open in Stockholm in early August. "You can't just walk out there and expect to win, regardless of my form for the last month. I had a couple of disappointing points, a few small things I let turn into a big deal."

The victory was only the second for Hantuchova against a top-20 ranked player in 12 matches this year. The 21-year-old, ranked as high as fifth last year and who reached the quarterfinals at the U.S. Open two years ago, advanced to a third-round meeting against No. 15 Patty Schnyder of Switzerland, who beat Iveta Benesova of the Czech Republic 6-4, 6-1.

"It was much easier for me," Hantuchova said. "The pressure was on her. Nobody expected me to win. I was the one with nothing to lose."

In other early play Wednesday, No. 12 Ai Sugiyama of Japan needed only 52 minutes to win her second-round match against Argentina's Gisela Dulko 6-4, 6-2, while No. 31 Maria Vento-Kabchi of Venezuela required three sets to subdue Germany's Julia Schruff 6-1, 2-6, 6-2.

In the men's bracket, No. 32 Jonas Bjorkman of Sweden became the fifth men's seed to be eliminated, beaten by Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic 6-3, 2-6, 6-2, 1-6, 6-3, while No. 12 Sebastien Grosjean of France overcame a first-set loss to eliminate countryman Olivier Patience 5-7, 7-6 (6), 6-2, 6-1 and No. 23 Vicent Spadea of the United States likewise won 6-7 (3), 6-2, 6-4, 6-4 over Peru's Luis Horna.

Later in the day, men's No. 4 seed Lleyton Hewitt of Australia faced South Africa's Wayne Ferreira and No. 3 women's seed Serena Williams faced American compatriot Lindsay Lee-Waters.

No. 1 men's seed Roger Federer of Switzerland had a night match against Cyprus' Marco Baghdatis.

Players faced much more hospitable weather conditions Wednesday than the two previous days of competition. Clouds made way for clear skies and the humidity dropped to 52 percent with a temperature of 25 degrees Celsius (77 Fahrenheit), down from the 80 percent plus humidity Monday and Tuesday.


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