Continued from page 1

“Hopefully this was a little bit different than usual, and now you can maybe give me some questions that are a little bit more interesting,” the 20-year-old Dane said.

Henin and Kuznetsova didn’t have much fun following Wozniacki on the court. Kuznetsova twice had chances to serve out the match, but Henin broke her both times.

Henin was only weeks into a comeback from a career break from the tour when she lost the final last year to Serena Williams, the third time in four appearances she had reached the championship match at Melbourne. Her comeback season was derailed when she injured her right elbow at Wimbledon and didn’t play again in 2010.

“There’s no excuse, even if I know I’m not at 100 percent. She was better than me today,” Henin said in remarks translated from French. “I made way too many errors.”

It was Henin’s first loss in a major to Kuznetsova, the former French and U.S. Open champion, and her worst run at a Grand Slam event since Wimbledon in 2005.

Sharapova, who won the 2008 Australian women’s title, struggled to a 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 win over Julia Goerges of Germany. French Open champion Francesca Schiavone of Italy also won, beating Monica Niculescu of Romania 6-0, 7-6 (2).

No. 9 Li Na of China, who reached the semifinals last year before losing in two tiebreaker sets to eventual champion Serena Williams, advanced 6-2, 6-1 over Barbora Zahlavova Strycova.

Schiavone and Kuznetsova, who will play each other in the fourth round, had what Kuznetsova called a misunderstanding after a Fed Cup match won by Italy over Russia.

“We didn’t talk for some time, I didn’t shake her hand,” Kuznetsova said. “So after we spoke in the locker room … we are completely over it. I said sorry or whatever.”

Federer was back to his vintage best, beating Xavier Malisse 6-3, 6-3, 6-1. While the defending champion also won in straight sets in his opening-round match against Lukas Lacko, he was extended to five tough sets against Gilles Simon in the second round, a nearly five-hour match that Federer said he was he relieved to survive.

On Friday at Rod Laver Arena, there was no such drama for the Swiss star, who is chasing his fifth Australian title. It took him 1 hour, 45 minutes to beat Malisse and earn an Open Era-record 57th match win at the Australian Open, breaking Stefan Edberg’s mark.

“I’m OK today, and I’m happy I was able to come through it,” Federer said. “Surely it’s not the easiest thing to come back after a five-setter, but I managed.”

Federer will play Tommy Robredo, who beat Ukraine’s Sergiy Stakhovsky 5-7, 6-2, 6-4, 6-2.

Roddick overcame a slow start before powering to victory with 32 aces to beat Robin Haase 2-6, 7-6 (2), 6-2, 6-2. Roddick is seeking to win his second Grand Slam title nearly seven years after his first — the 2003 U.S. Open.

Haase appeared to stumble on a shot early in the first set and needed to have his ankle heavily taped. The trainer was back on the court at the end of the set for Haase, who broke Roddick’s serve twice and made the shot of the tournament so far — chasing down a lob and flicking a backhand over the net while facing the back of the court.

Story Continues →