Henin-Hardenne advances after long layoff

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/A/Apheninhardene.jpg' class='caption'> Justin Henin-Hardenne looked anything but rusty on Wednesday night in her first match since Wimbledon.

Updated: February 25, 2007 11:36 IST
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New Haven, Connecticut:

Justin Henin-Hardenne looked anything but rusty on Wednesday night in her first match since Wimbledon. The second-seeded Belgian cruised into the quarterfinals of the Pilot Pen with a 6-4, 6-2 win over Anabel Medina Garrigues. Recovering from a right knee injury Henin-Hardenne accepted a wild card at New Haven last week hoping to regain the form that's earned her 27 singles titles, including five majors. She moved Medina Garrigues all over the court with her crisp passing and impressive backhands. Her deft play at the net proved just as effective. Her soft drop shots fell time and again out of reach of the 24-year-old Spaniard. She takes on Mara Tangangelo of Italy in a quarterfinal on Thursday. Henin-Hardenne's last match was a loss in the Wimbledon final to Amelie Mauresmo, the top-seeded player at New Haven. It's the first tournament for both since then. Mauresmo lost her first set then came back to beat Galina Voskoboeva 4-6, 6-1, 6-2 early on Wednesday. Mauresmo withdrew from last week's tournament in Montreal because of a strained right shoulder and is using this event to test the injury before the US Open, which starts Monday. She'll be seeded No. 1 there. She will play seventh-seeded Lindsay Davenport in a quarterfinal on Thursday. Davenport, the former No. 1 in the world, advanced wtih a 6-4, 6-2 win over Francesca Schiavone. Fourth-seeded Nadia Petrova lost to Marion Bartoli of France 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (4). After being ranked as high as No. 3 in the world, Petrova went out in the first round of the French Open and missed Wimbledon with a hip injury. Wednesday's setback was her fifth consecutive loss in her first match of a tournament. Santangelo, the lucky loser, reached the quarterfinals when Li Na had to withdraw with a sprained ankle. Ranked No. 40 in the world, the 25-year-old Italian won a spot in the tournament, despite losing in qualifying, when Dinara Safina pulled out with an elbow injury. Santangelo has played just one match, beating 2004 French Open champion Anastasia Myskina in the first round. In the men's tournament, second-seeded Nikolay Davydenko had little trouble against Paradorn Srichaphan, winning 6-4, 6-1 to reach the quarterfinals. (AP)

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