SYDNEY, Australia -- Lleyton Hewitt and top seed Richard Gasquet were upset in the second round of the Sydney International
on Wednesday, setting back their preparations for next week's Australian Open, while Justine Henin breezed through her first
match of the year.
Hewitt lost a hard-fought match to fellow Australian Chris
Guccione 7-6 (4), 7-6 (2), while Russia's Dmitry Tursunov rallied
to beat France's Gasquet 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 at Sydney Olympic Park
"The major tournament hasn't started yet, so there's no point
getting worried," Hewitt said. "I felt, all-in-all today, the
ball-striking was pretty good."
Tursunov outlasted Gasquet in some intense rallies to meet
Sebastien Grosjean of France, who cruised past No. 8 seed Fernando
Verdasco of Spain, 6-3, 6-4.
"It's not a big problem for the Australian Open because I'm
ready," Gasquet said. "I did two matches here and no pain, so it's
In other men's second round matches, France's Fabrice Santoro
beat Belgium's Steve Darcis 6-1, 6-3, Russian Evgeny Korolev beat
Czech Ivo Minar 6-2, 6-3 and Czech Radek Stepanek ground out a 7-5,
2-6, 6-4 win over Italian Andreas Seppi.
In the women's quarterfinals, second-seeded Svetlana Kuznetsova
of Russia made short work of Francesca Schiavone of Italy 6-4, 6-0,
while fourth-seeded Ana Ivanovic of Serbia beat Katarina Srebotnik
of Slovenia, 6-3, 3-6, 6-2.
Henin reached the semifinals after only 52 minutes on court in
The two-time Sydney champion received a first-round bye and a
second-round walkover, before cruising past Estonian qualifier Kaia
Kanepi 6-2 6-0 on Wednesday. Henin will play No. 4 Ana Ivanovic in
the semifinals after the Serb beat Katarina Srebotnik 6-3, 3-6,
"It's been a strange start in the tournament for me, winning my
first match not playing." Henin said. "So I'm happy with the way
I played today."
Henin is aiming for a second Australian Open crown after missing
last year due to her marriage break up. The Belgian retired midway
through the 2006 final against Amelie Mauresmo due to a stomach
"I feel really comfortable about what happened and I have no
regrets. I was feeling so bad. I wasn't healthy enough to play that
No. 2 Svetlana Kuznetsova also progressed to the last four after
beating Italian Francesca Schiavone 6-4 6-0.
She will play Nicole Vaidisova, a 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 winner over
third-seeded Jelena Jankovic in the late quarterfinal.