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Henin out; worst Slam since '05

Justine Henin, above, falls in third round to Svetlana Kuznetsova, dropping a second-set tiebreaker to a player she has dominated.

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Justine Henin, above, falls in third round to Svetlana Kuznetsova, dropping a second-set tiebreaker to a player she has dominated.

MELBOURNE, Australia — Justine Henin was eliminated in the third round of the Australian Open today, losing 6-4, 7-6 (10-8) to Svetlana Kuznetsova a year after reaching the final in her comeback to Grand Slam tennis.

It was the first loss for Henin, the No. 11 seed, in a major to Kuznetsova, a former French and U.S. Open champ, and her worst run at a Grand Slam event since Wimbledon in 2005.

No. 23 Kuznetsova twice had chances to serve out the match, but Henin broke her both times. In a fluctuating tiebreaker, Kuznetsova was ahead 6-4 before Henin sent a service return skidding down the line and took the next point. She netted a forehand to give Kuznetsova another match point at 8-7 but again hit a powerful forehand service-return winner.

Henin lost when she sent a forehand wide, dropping to 16-3 against Kuznetsova.

No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki beat Dominika Cibulkova 6-4, 6-3 to avenge last week's loss in a tuneup tournament. Then, hearing she had come across as a bit boring in recent interviews, she opened a post-match news conference with a funny monologue, saying she knew what would be asked so she'd just give her stock answers one-by-one. Then she invited questions on "more interesting" topics, such as the piano, cricket, soccer and what she's looking for in a boyfriend.

"I am happy I got the revenge since I lost to her in Sydney last week. … It was not an easy match. … She went out there, she was really on fire. … You know, I'm happy to be through to the next round," the 20-year-old Danish player worked through the answers to the usual questions.

On the men's side, No. 3 Novak Djokovic was leading Viktor Troicki 6-2 when his Serbian Davis Cup teammate retired due to a stomach muscle strain. "It's not really the way you want to win — especially if you're playing against one of your best friends," said Djokovic, who next plays No. 14 Nicolas Almagro.

Andy Roddick overcame a slow start, powering to victory against Robin Haase, hitting 32 aces in a 2-6, 7-6 (7-2), 6-2, 6-2 victory.

The eighth-seeded Roddick is seeking his second Grand Slam title nearly seven years after his first — the 2003 U.S. Open.

Haase received treatment on his right ankle early in the first set, getting it heavily taped after appearing to stumble on a shot.

"He was playing great early on," Roddick said. "The biggest thing was just to turn it around in the second set."

agassi in hall: Andre Agassi will be inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame. The 40-year-old said his proudest moment on the court was winning the 1999 French Open to complete the career Grand Slam.

>>fast facts

Key results

Men: Djokovic (3) d. Troicki (29 6-2, retired; Almagro (14) d. Ljubicic (17) 6-4, 7-6 (10-8), 6-3; Roddick (8) d. Haase 2-6, 7-6 (7-2), 6-2, 6-2; Murray (5) d. Marchenko 6-1, 6-3, 6-3; Ferrer (7) d. Russell 6-0, 6-1, 7-5.

Women: Wozniacki (1) d. Cibulkova (29) 6-4, 6-3; Zvonareva (2) d. Jovanovski 2-6, 6-3, 6-1; Stosur (5) d. Dushevina 6-3, 6-2; Schiavone (6) d. Niculescu 6-0, 7-6 (7-2); Li (9) d. Zahlavova Strycova 6-2, 6-1; Azarenka (8) d. Scheepers 6-3, 6-3; Kuznetsova (23) d. Henin (11) 6-4, 7-6 (10-8)

Tonight on TV: 7, Tennis Channel, 9, ESPN2

Henin out; worst Slam since '05 01/20/11 [Last modified: Friday, January 21, 2011 12:18am]
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