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Tennis-Henin-Hardenne and Clijsters through
( 2003-09-26 11:13) (Agencies)

French and US Open champion Justine Henin-Hardenne strengthened her bid to take the world number one ranking from her compatriot Kim Clijsters with a 6-1 6-2 demolition of Denisa Chladkova on Thursday.

 The second seed showed no hint of the exhaustion or back problems she suffered before beating Clijsters in the Flushing Meadow final 18 days ago, overcoming the Czech in less than an hour to reach the last eight of the $585,000 Leipzig Grand Prix.

 It was her first match since taking the US Open title and proved a fine start on the indoor carpet surface, on which Henin has been least successful.

 "I have a chance tomorrow to play better," Henin-Hardenne said ominously for Els Callens, another Belgian compatriot and here opponent on Friday.

"Of course I want to reach the top but I don't want to live too much in the future or the past," added Henin. "I want to stay focused on the now" Top-seeded Clijsters, who should earn the chance of revenge over Henin on Sunday, began with a 6-3 6-4 win over Jelena Dokic, the former top 10 player from Yugoslavia.

 Clijsters, who arrived from Australia only two days ago, did not look entirely convincing.

 She began with a double fault, dropped her opening service game and went 0-3 down in the second set.

  But Dokic, who is still getting over the disruption caused by a break with her father and moving home, was neither consistent nor confident enough to take advantage of the favourite's shortcomings.

 Earlier Anna-Lena Groeneveld, the latest teenager making a push to become a main tour regular, was near to landing her first top-20 victim before narrowly failing to reach her first quarter-final.

 The 18-year-old US-based German lost 3-6 6-1 6-4 to Nadia Petrova, the sixth-seeded French Open semi-finalist from Russia, but provided her home crowd with glimpses of an encouraging future.

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