Weather Forecast


Clijsters out, Belgian hopes on Henin

Nadia Petrova returns to Kim Clijsters on her way to winning a women's singles third-round match at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia on Friday.

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) -- Kim Clijsters came to the Australian Open as an inspiration to her countrywomen and mothers everywhere.

After her unexpected U.S. Open victory, hype about consecutive major titles followed her to Melbourne Park for the season-opening Grand Slam.

All that ended in 52 minutes Friday in a 6-0, 6-1 third-round loss to 19th-seeded Nadia Petrova. Also lost was the chance of a quarterfinal against fellow Belgian Justine Henin, a former No. 1 playing her first major in two years.

"I was completely off," Clijsters said. "I think tennis-wise, I didn't feel the ball at all."

Defending champion Rafael Nadal also was upset with his game, although he had a victory to show for it -- a 6-4, 6-2, 2-6, 7-5 decision over Germany's Philipp Kohlscreiber at night.

"In the third, I started terrible, no?" the Spaniard said. "Everybody has not very good days."

No. 20 Mikhail Youzhny withdrew from the first scheduled match Saturday morning, citing wrist soreness, and giving Poland's Lukasz Kubot a walkover into the fourth round. Youzhny, a semifinalist at the 2006 U.S. Open, said he hurt his right wrist in his opener against Richard Gasquet, when he rallied from two sets down to win in five.

In the early women's matches, seventh-seeded Victoria Azarenka of Belarus beat Italy's Tathiana Garbin 6-0, 6-2, and No. 13 Sam Stosur of Australia had a 6-4, 6-1 win over Italian Alberta Brianti.

Top-ranked Roger Federer faced No. 31 Albert Montanes later Saturday, and 2008 winner Novak Djokovic was set to play Denis Istomin. Defending women's champion Serena Williams was in third-round action against No. 32 Carla Suarez Navarro.

Juan Martin del Potro, who had a surprise win over Federer in the U.S. Open final last September, advanced Friday night along with No. 5 Andy Murray, Americans John Isner and Andy Roddick and Fernando Gonzalez of Chile.

Nadal will next play Ivo Karlovic, who downed Ivan Ljubicic 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7), and could play a quarterfinal against Murray, a 7-5, 6-1, 6-4 winner over Florent Serra of France.

But Murray has to first get past Isner, a 6-foot-9 American who won his first title last week in Auckland.