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NEW YORK: Third seed Lindsay Davenport expanded on the theme of the day at the US Open by following title contenders Roger Federer and Kim Clijsters into the next round with a minimum of fuss on Wednesday.

The American, champion here in 1998, beat Italian Maria Elena Camerin 6-2, 6-4 in the first match of the evening session at Flushing Meadows.

"It felt good, I managed to get through relatively easily," Davenport told reporters after her second-round victory.

Earlier, Wimbledon men's champion Federer opened his US Open campaign with a first-round win, Argentine Jose Acasuso retiring because of cramps with the Swiss player leading 5-7, 6-3, 6-3, 2-0.

Women's world No 1 Clijsters thrashed American Laura Granville 6-1, 6-1 in 49 minutes.

In the other match of the evening session, American James Blake clinically disposed of 27th-seeded Argentine Mariano Zabaleta 7-6, 6-3, 6-2 to reach the second round.

Davenport, a former world No 1 and three-times grand slam winner, has had her last 18 months disrupted by knee surgery and a more recent foot injury.

But despite still appearing a little hesitant on Arthur Ashe Court, the 27-year-old was happy enough with her progress.

"I wasn't on top of the ball as much as I would have liked," said Davenport, who had a cortisone pain-killing injection in her foot.

Federer, the second seed, swiftly recovered from a stuttering start to impose himself on Acasuso.

The Swiss would have expected minimal resistance from the 75th-ranked Acasuso after the claycourter had won only one match since April and suffered first-round exits in six of seven previous events.

His victim in last month's Wimbledon final, Mark Philippoussis, was also in control. The 20th-seeded Australian beat Serb Janko Tipsarevic 6-2, 7-6, 6-4.

Belgian Clijsters, yet to win a grand slam crown, was sublime against Granville and was joined in the third round by ninth seed Daniela Hantuchova, who survived a late scare against Ukrainian Julia Vakulenko to win 6-0, 7-6.

It was not a victory without drama, the emotionally frail Slovak almost bursting into tears when she missed a match point in the 10th game of the second set. But Hantuchova quickly pulled herself together and will next meet Thai Tamarine Tanasugarn, who ousted 18th-seeded Swiss Patty Schnyder 6-4, 6-3.

Amelie Mauresmo also advanced, the fifth seed trouncing fellow Frenchwoman Stephanie Cohen Aloro 6-2 6-2.

Agencies via Xinhua

(China Daily 08/29/2003 page8)


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