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September 4, 2009

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Federer, Hewitt roll into the third round

ROGER Federer used to wonder how he was ever going to beat Lleyton Hewitt, but the situation will be reversed when the world's No. 1 and one of his predecessors meet in the third round of the US Open in New York.
The two set up another showdown by winning their second-round matches on Wednesday. Federer beat Germany's Simon Greul 6-3, 7-5, 7-5, while Hewitt defeated Argentina's Juan Ignacio Chela 6-3, 6-3, 6-4.
"On any given day, a former world No. 1, a guy who's won majors, is very, very dangerous," Federer said. "That's why I have to make sure I get into the match quickly, not give him the lead, because we know he's not going to go down without a fight."
Hewitt won at Flushing Meadows in 2001. Three years later, Federer beat him in the final - the first of five straight titles that he's seeking to turn into six.
"He started his run here in 2004 in the final, so it would be nice if I could finish it," Hewitt said with a smile.
The player who has given Federer fits more recently - Rafael Nadal - motored around the court like a guy with two healthy knees. He defeated Richard Gasquet 6-2, 6-2, 6-3 in his first Grand Slam action since May 31, when Nadal's 31-match French Open winning streak ended in the fourth round at Roland Garros.
Gasquet was returning from a doping ban.
Serena, Venus win
Tendinitis in both knees sidelined Nadal for more than two months. He pulled out of Wimbledon instead of defending his title.
"I don't have pain, so I don't think," Nadal said.
Nadal never mentioned his knee issues publicly until after the French Open, but he said on Wednesday the pain dated to April, when he won the Monte Carlo Masters.
China's Li Na beat Michelle Larcher de Brito of Portugal 6-1, 6-3.
In women's doubles, Chinese pair Zheng Jie and Yan Zi defeated Sara Errani and Flavia Pennetta of Italy 6-4, 6-3.
The defending women's singles champion, Serena Williams, needed just 53 minutes to dispatch 51st-ranked Melinda Czink of Hungary 6-1, 6-1.
Her third-round opponent is Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez, who pushed Williams to three sets in a dramatic match at the same stage of the French Open. Williams insisted the ball went off Martinez Sanchez's arm on a point that helped the Spaniard win the first set; she later accused Martinez Sanchez of cheating.
"She plays a fun game," Williams said. "She's a tough cookie."
Venus Williams had heavy strapping on her left knee. But like Nadal, Williams looked fine on Wednesday, and she easily eliminated Bethanie Mattek-Sands of the United States 6-4, 6-2.
Kim Clijsters also won. After ending her retirement in August, she continues to play as if she never left. The 26-year-old Belgian reached the third round by knocking off No. 14-seeded Marion Bartoli 5-7, 6-1, 6-2.
Other seeded women sent home included Samantha Stosur, who was beaten by Vania King 7-5, 6-4; two-time major champion Amelie Mauresmo, who lost to Aleksandra Wozniak of Canada; Agnieszka Radwanska and Anabel Medina Garrigues.


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