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AUSTRALIAN OPEN

Venus, Davenport gain third round

MELBOURNE -- Venus Williams wore down Peng Shuai and closed out a 6-3, 6-1 win today with a stinging crosscourt forehand that put her into the third round of the Australian Open.

Williams lost her opening service game, but broke right back to start a five-game winning streak. That sent her on the way to eliminating Peng, who upset French Open champion Anastasia Myskina at the Sydney International last week.

"Wasn't she a beautiful player?" said Williams, who joined younger sister, Serena, in the third round. "I had no idea who she was." Myskina and top-seeded Lindsay Davenport had more trouble, but managed to advance.

Davenport earned a 2-6, 6-2, 6-2 victory over Michaela Pastikova, the world's 99th-ranked player who was entered in her first Grand Slam tournament after 13 failed qualifying attempts.

Myskina, the No. 3 seed, berated herself and looked dismayed after many of the 25 errors she had to overcome on the way to defeating No. 114 Tzipora Obziler, 6-4, 6-2, in the second round. American Abigail Spears, playing only her second major, knocked out No. 20 Tatiana Golovin, 7-5, 6-1, to make the third round. On the men's side, No. 14 Sebastien Grosjean, No. 15 Mikhail Youzhny, No. 17 Andrei Pavel, and No. 18 Nicolas Massu were the four seeded players ousted from the men's draw today. . American Bobby Reynolds upset Pavel, 7-6 (8-6), 6-2, 6-2, and Guillermo Canas, seeded 12th, advanced, 3-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-0, over Fernando Verdasco.

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