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Henin untroubled by Zvonareva in Zurich

Zurich, Oct 19: World number one Justine Henin eased into the quarter-finals of the Zurich Open with a 6-3 6-1 win over Russia's Vera Zvonareva.

Chasing the ninth tournament of her impressive season, the Belgian was not at her very best as the match got underway -- squandering three early break points in Zvonareva's first two service games with a series of misplaced shots.

After finally breaking the Russian world number 23 to go 3-2 up, Henin conceded an immediate break back -- sending a forehand skywards to let Zvonareva back into the match.

Zvonareva, who had lost all four of her previous meetings with Henin, failed to capitalise however, outdoing the Belgian in the unforced errors department to drop her next two service games.

The second set saw a much improved Henin piling the pressure on Zvonareva, with two further breaks of serve allowing the world number one to romp through the last five games yesterday.

''It was tough for me at the beginning to find my rhythm,'' said Henin who was playing her first match of the tournament after receiving a bye into the second round.

''Zvonareva had played already and I found the surface a lot faster than it was in Stuttgart. But from 5-3 on in the first set I played very solid, made some good points and I am happy to win this way.''


Henin will now face world number 31 Agnieszka Radwanska in the quarter-finals, after the Polish teenager managed a surprise 6-3 6-3 win over Slovakian seventh seed Daniela Hantuchova.

Playing Radwanska for the first time, Hantuchova became the fifth of the tournament's eight seeded players to bow out early.

Serena Williams, Amelie Mauresmo, Ana Ivanovic and Jelena Jankovic all went out in the first two rounds to leave Henin as the only seed remaining in the top half of the draw.

Russian second seed and world number two Svetlana Kuznetsova narrowly avoided a similar upset after coming from a set and a break down to beat Austria's Sybille Bammer 2-6 6-4 7-5.

''She is a good player but I knew I was really playing against myself out there,'' Kuznetsova said after clinching the match with a break in the final game.

''I was pretty upset with my game. I came out with a win though so at least that's good.'' Kuznetsova will now take on Italian world number 32 Francesca Schiavone in today's quarter-finals.

Schiavone also came from behind to beat local favourite Patty Schnyder 2-6 6-3 6-4.


Story first published: Friday, October 19, 2007, 15:09 [IST]
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