MELBOURNE -- Top-ranked Justine Henin-Hardenne rallied from a breakdown in the second set to beat Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova, 6-2, 7-5, today to advance to the fourth round of the Australian Open.
Henin-Hardenne, the defending Wimbledon and the US Open champion, was broken twice in the second set and trailed, 5-3, before breaking back and taking advantage of unforced errors by the 18-year-old Kuznetsova to win four consecutive games and the match.
"It's great to have this kind of match in the third round. I had to keep fighting to the end," Henin-Hardenne said.
Henin-Hardenne said the tough second set showed her she needed to be more aggressive in dictating points.
"I don't see myself as the biggest favorite of this tournament," she said.
No. 4 seed and defending champion Andre Agassi defeated Thomas Enqvist of Sweden, 6-0, 6-3, 6-3. He'll face Paradorn Srichaphan, who ousted former world No. 1 and 19th-seeded Gustavo Kuerten in straight sets, 6-3, 7-5, 6-4.
Thailand's Srichaphan, seeded 13th, hit 49 winners.
Marat Safin used a string of powerful backhand returns in the last set to beat Todd Martin, 7-5, 1-6, 4-6, 6-0, 7-5, and move into a fourth-round match against James Blake, a former Harvard star.
The 3-hour-25-minute match ended when the 23-year-old Russian whipped a crosscourt return at Martin's feet on his first match point.
Safin was demonstrative throughout the second and third sets as he muttered to himself, slammed his racket into the court, and received a code violation for smacking a ball out of the arena.
He settled down in the fourth set, however, while Martin began disputing line calls.
Safin, the 2000 US Open champion and runner-up here in 2002, saw his ranking slump to No. 86 as he struggled with wrist problems last season.
"I felt really good this morning and felt really good out there -- I'm reaching my goal, but really looking forward to getting better and getting through to the quarters," he said.
Blake needed just 75 minutes to beat France's Olivier Patience, 6-1, 6-3, 6-2, conceding only one break point as he dropped serve when trying to close the match at 5-0 in the third set.
Otherwise, he was on his game, hitting 41 winners to Patience's 12 and winning 25 of the 30 times he went to the net. He gave Patience only one break-point opportunity.
"This is the farthest I've gone in a Slam, and I want it to continue," the 23-year-old Blake said. "I was really happy with my first-round match, and today I got even better.
"I feel I played pretty darned well. I like to think it had more to do with me than with him."
On the women's side, fourth-seeded Amelie Mauresmo had little trouble beating Anabel Medina Garrigues of Spain, 6-1, 6-2, and fifth-seeded Lindsay Davenport, the 2000 Australian Open champion, beat fellow American Laura Granville, 6-4, 6-0.
Mauresmo dropped serve once in the second set and needed treatment for her lower left leg at 3-2. Upon returning, she lost only one point before clinching a fourth-round berth with a drop volley.
Russia's Vera Zvonareva, seeded 11th, beat Nicole Pratt, 7-5, 2-6, 6-1; 32d-seeded Fabiola Zuluaga of Colombia was a 7-6 (7-5), 4-6, 6-2 winner over American Jill Craybas; and Australia's Alicia Molik overcame Claudine Schaul of Luxembourg, 6-7 (7-4), 6-1, 6-2.
In a marathon match between Hungarians, Aniko Kapros overcame Petra Mandula, 3-6, 6-3, 12-10.
Blake, Agassi, and Martin were three of the six American men in action today.
Top-ranked Andy Roddick will face potential Davis Cup teammate Taylor Dent on center court this evening, and Robby Ginepri, seeded 32d, beat France's Nicolas Escude, 6-2, 6-3, 6-4.