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No trouble at all for Serena, Federer

MELBOURNE, Australia — Serena Williams moved a step closer to successfully defending her Australian Open title today with a 6-0, 6-3 victory over Carla Suarez Navarro.

Williams' only real difficulty came in closing the first set, needing eight set points in a game that went to deuce 13 times and lasted longer than the previous five games combined.

Top seed Roger Federer advanced with a 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 win over No. 31 Albert Montanes.

"It was important to come through the first week," Federer said. "I feel good; I feel confident. Physically I'm fine and mentally fresh, and that's the way you want to go into the second week."

No. 6 Nikolay Davydenko extended his overall win streak to 12 matches with a 6-0, 6-3, 6-4 victory over No. 30 Juan Monaco.

A day earlier, everything seemed to go wrong for Kim Clijsters. She came to the Australian Open as an inspiration to her countrywomen and mothers everywhere after her unexpected win at the U.S. Open.

Any chance of the young mother winning back-to-back Grand Slam titles ended Friday in a 6-0, 6-1 third-round loss to 19th seed Nadia Petrova.

"I was completely off," said the Belgian, 26, who returned from retirement in August. "I think tenniswise, I didn't feel the ball at all."

Clijsters couldn't get anything right, with her reliable forehand not working and her serve letting her down.

"There were points where I really wanted to break my racket into pieces," she said, "but … that's not going to help either."

Defending champion Rafael Nadal was displeased with his game, but he had a win to show for it — a 6-4, 6-2, 2-6, 7-5 decision over Philipp Kohlscreiber.

"In the third I started terrible, no?" the Spaniard said. "Everybody has not very good days."

U.S. Open champion Juan Martin del Potro advanced, as did No. 5 Andy Murray. John Isner and No. 7 Andy Roddick moved on and are the only two American men left.

"I was just kind of riding a wave of momentum, and I still am," Isner said. "Hopefully I can keep it going."

No. 2 Dinara Safina and No. 3 Svetlana Kuznetsova went through, and Justine Henin, a former No. 1, faces Yanina Wickmayer for a quarterfinals berth.

Fast facts

Today on TV

7 p.m. Tennis, 10 p.m. ESPN2

No trouble at all for Serena, Federer 01/22/10 [Last modified: Saturday, January 23, 2010 12:30am]
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