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Raymond cruises into Aussie quarterfinals

Published Aug. 27, 2005

Former University of Florida standout Lisa Raymond followed her upset over Venus Williams with an easy victory, defeating wild-card entry Tatiana Golovin 6-2, 6-0 to reach the Australian Open quarterfinals.

The 25th-seeded Raymond equaled her best performance in 44 previous Grand Slam tournaments. She reached the quarters at Wimbledon in 2000.

"It would have been pretty easy for me to have the letdown after playing so well against Venus," Raymond said. "I just went out there and just kept playing the way I've been playing. I was able to play well, so I felt good about how I handled the situation."

Her quarterfinal opponent is Switzerland's Patty Schnyder, seeded 22nd, who had a 6-2, 6-4 victory over Nathalie Decy of France.

Second-seeded Kim Clijsters joined them in the quarterfinals with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Silvia Farina Elia.

Clijsters will play sixth-seeded Anastasia Myskina of Russia, who rallied for a 6-7 (3-7), 6-2, 6-2 win over ninth-seeded Chanda Rubin.

Myskina also beat Rubin in the fourth round at the Australian last year before losing to Clijsters in the quarterfinals.

Raymond won the last 11 points of her match. She made the most of her French opponent's 22 errors, including a double fault on break point to open the second set.

At 30, Raymond has won four singles titles on the WTA Tour and 42 doubles championships. She has won three Grand Slam women's doubles titles, but lost with Martina Navratilova in the second round at this event.

"I haven't really played my best tennis in the Grand Slams. For me to be able to play this kind of tennis here in Australia is great," Raymond said.

Golovin, who turned 16 Sunday, had only one victory on the tour before arriving at Melbourne Park. She was ranked No. 354 coming into the season's first major.

In other women's matches, top-ranked Justine Henin-Hardenne advanced with a 6-1, 7-6 (7-5) victory over Italian qualifier Mara Santangelo. Henin-Hardenne moved into the quarterfinals against 2000 champion Lindsay Davenport, a 6-1, 6-3 victor over No. 11 Vera Zvonareva.

Amelie Mauresmo beat Australia's Alicia Molik 7-5, 7-5, ensuring she'll rise to a career-high No. 3 in the tour rankings.

Defending men's champion Andre Agassi extended his winning stretch at the Australian Open to 25 matches with a straight-sets victory over Thailand's Paradorn Srichaphan. Top-ranked Andy Roddick slammed 14 aces in a 6-1, 6-2, 6-3 victory over No. 16 Sjeng Schalken of the Netherlands.

Roddick will play 2000 U.S. Open champion Marat Safin in the quarterfinals, and Agassi must get past No. 9 Sebastien Grosjean. Safin eliminated James Blake of Tampa 7-6 (7-3), 6-3, 6-7 (6-8), 6-3.

No. 3 Juan Carlos Ferrero downed Andrei Pavel 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2.

Eighth-seeded David Nalbandian earned a 6-4, 6-2, 6-1 victory over fellow Argentine Guillermo Canas. Nalbandian, who lost the 2002 Wimbledon final to Hewitt, hasn't dropped a set in four matches.

Agassi improved to 205-45 (a .820 winning percentage) in Grand Slam matches and looks to add a ninth major title to his collection.

"I feel like I've experienced every part of my game throughout this first week, and I've liked the levels I've hit," Agassi said, "and I'm in position to go further, to take it higher."

ON THE RISE: Lleyton Hewitt knows how it is to be a young star. Hewitt, who in 2001 became the youngest men's No. 1 in ATP history, came face to face with another phenom, 17-year-old Spaniard Rafael Nadal, in the third round.

Hewitt won 7-6 (7-2), 7-6 (7-5), 6-2, but not before Nadal showed why he's highly regarded. Nadal was making his Aussie debut.

"He's a great player," Hewitt said. "All the good stuff you've heard and seen in the past, you know, he's going to be very good in a couple of years."

Nadal turned pro in 2001. In his Wimbledon debut last year he reached the third round; at 17, he was the youngest player to do so since 16-year-old Boris Becker in 1984.

A GEM FOR COLOMBIA: No. 32 Fabiola Zuluaga understands what her victory will mean for Colombia.

She beat Hungary's Aniko Kapros 6-4, 6-2 to become the first Colombian woman to reach a Grand Slam quarterfinal.

"It's great, what it means for my country," she said.

Zuluaga was asked about her next match, a far tougher test when she meets Mauresmo. "First of all, I have to celebrate this," she said.