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  Friday, 18 January, 2002, 10:25 GMT
Hingis in a hurry
Martina Hingis
Hingis was relentess in her third round win
Click here for Friday's women's singles results from Melbourne

Martina Hingis wasted no time in booking her place in the fourth round with a crushing 6-1 6-0 win over Germany's Barbara Rittner.

Hingis, the three-time winner, is seeking her first Grand Slam title since winning the title in Melbourne three years ago.

She took just 46 minutes to overwhelm her German opponent, whose only cause for celebration was the one game she took at 0-5 down in the first set.

Monica Seles joined Hingis in the fourth round with a 6-4 6-4 win over Francesca Schiavone.

Schiavone, one of four Italian women to reach the third round of the tournament, started well, taking a 4-2 lead in the first set.

Monica Seles
Seles has been steady so far

But Seles, who won her last Grand Slam title in 1996 in Melbourne, used all of her experience to wear down the 31st seed.

Seles, originally from Yugoslavia but now playing for America, is bidding for her tenth Grand Slam title and has opted out of the doubles to concentrate on her title tilt.

She had to suffer a dip during the second set before sealing victory.

At 5-2, she dropped two games before winning the match on Schiavone's serve with a forehand winner.

South African Amanda Coetzer eliminated Barbara Schett in a surprisingly one-sided contest.

The 15th seed won through to the next round with a 6-3 6-3 win over the Austrian woman who grabbed so many headlines at Wimbledon last year.

Venus Williams suffered a major scare before securing her place in the fourth round.

The second seed was thoroughly outplayed by Slovakian Daniela Hantuchova in the first set, before recovering to win 4-6 6-0 6-4.

Magdalena Maleeva of Bulgaria celebrates her win over Lisa Raymond
Maleeva beat Venus Williams in their last meeting
Williams, whose sister Serena pulled out on the eve of the tournament through injury, had a strap on her left knee to relieve the pain of tendinitis.

That did not stop her powering through the second set.

The pair traded breaks midway through the final set, but Williams' superior experience allowed her to break back in the crucial ninth game.

More power play from Williams in the next game brought her two match points, but she only needed one.

The 13th seed Magdalena Maleeva moved into the fourth round with a routine win over doubles expert Lisa Raymond.

The Bulgarian needed little time to dispose of her American opponent, winning 7-5 6-1 and now faces Williams.

Another seed who had no such luck was Italian Silvia Farina Elia, who was knocked out by compatriot Adriana Serra Zanetti.

Zanetti dumped the 11th seed out of the tournament by scores of 6-2 4-6 6-4.

One Slovakian who had better luck than Hantuchova was Martina Sucha, who beat Asa Svensson of Sweden 6-0 6-4.

And French hopes suffered a blow when Spaniard Anabel Medina Garrigues rid the tournament of Nathalie Dechy 6-3 6-2.


Australian Open - women's singles, Friday's third round results:

3-M Hingis (Swi) bt B Rittner (Ger) 6-1 6-0
8-M Seles (US) bt 31-F Schiavone (Ita) 6-4 6-4
A Serra Zanetti (Ita) bt 11- S Farina Elia (Ita) 6-2 4-6 6-4
M Sucha (Svk) bt A Svensson (Swe) 6-0 6-4
13-M Maleeva (Bul) bt 18-L Raymond (US) 7-5 6-1
2-V Williams (US) bt 32-D Hantuchova (Svk) 3-6 6-0 6-4
15-A Coetzer (SA) beat 17-B Schett (Aut) 6-3 6-3
A Medina Garrigues (Spa) bt N Dechy (Fra) 6-3 6-2

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