Top seeds advance in AT&T Cup

Kim Clijsters crushed Francesca Schiavone of Italy on Wednesday to advance to the 3rd round of the $1.325-million Rogers AT&T Cup in Toronto.

Updated: February 25, 2007 09:48 IST
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Toronto:Kim Clijsters, competing for the first time since becoming the world's top-ranked player, crushed Francesca Schiavone of Italy on Wednesday to advance to the third round of the $1.325-million AT&T Cup in Toronto. Clijsters, the top seed in this event, is the first woman to reach No. 1 without having won a Grand Slam title since the WTA Tour introduced its rankings in 1975. But she has a tour-leading six victories this season. Earlier, second-seeded Justine Henin-Hardenne, defending champion Amelie Mauresmo and No.4 seed Daniela Hantuchova all won second-round matches. Coming into this tournament, Hantuchova had not played a match since putting in a tired performance against Nadia Petrova at the Acura Classic in San Diego on July 30. The lean, 1.81 metre Hantuchova took last week off - and the added rest has so far paid dividends in Toronto. After receiving a bye in the opening round, Hantuchova, looking fit and relaxed after a season where critics have questioned her weight - or lack of it - looked her old self, demolishing the challenge of American Jill Craybas 6-1, 6-2. The Slovak will now play former French Open winner Mary Pierce in the third round. The reigning French Open champion, Justine Henin-Hardenne, did not have everything her own way against Marion Bartoli of France, winning 6-3, 6-3. Henin will play French Open semi-finalist Nadia Petrova in the next round. Number three seed Mauresmo overcame several errors in the first set to beat Elena Likhovsteva of Russia 3-6, 6-1, 6-2. Mauresmo has battled knee and rib injuries this season and, with the exception of Fed Cup, hasn't played a tournament since June. Mauresmo will front up against fellow French woman Nathalie Dechy on Thursday. Clijsters will next play Virginie Razzano. (AP)

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