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Last Updated: Tuesday, 26 August, 2003, 01:43 GMT 02:43 UK
Clijsters coasts to victory
Women's round-up - day one
Chanda Rubin
Rubin reached the last eight at this year's French Open

World number one Kim Clijsters dropped just five games as she breezed through to round two of the US Open with a routine 6-2 6-3 defeat of American Amber Liu.

The Belgian is hot favourite to win at Flushing Meadows following the withdrawals of Serena and Venus Williams.

"It was hard in the beginning," said Clijsters. "I felt like I served well. I think that's always important."

Clijsters will now play American Laura Granville, who eliminated compatriot Ansley Cargill 6-4 6-0.

Eighth seed Chanda Rubin was the first major casualty of the women's event.

She bowed out 6-4 6-4 to Venezuelan Maria Vento-Kabachi in the first match of the day on the Arthur Ashe Stadium Court.

The American trailed from the early stages this time and, despite a brief recovery in the second set, crucially dropped her serve in the ninth game.

"It was just a really bad match for me," said Rubin, who had been sidelined for the past three weeks with shoulder tendinitis.

"I just didn't play with enough glue. I didn't play with enough consistency, and I didn't concentrate well enough."

Vento-Kabachi goes on to face Elena Likhovtseva after the Russian beat Iva Majoli of Croatia 6-1 6-1.

There was better news for the Americans with the straightforward progress of rising star Ashley Harkleroad, who beat Vera Douchevina of Russia 6-4 6-2.

And third seed Lindsay Davenport showed no ill effects as she beat Els Callens of Belgium 6-1 6-0, despite struggling with a painful nerve disorder in her left foot.

She was forced to retire midway through final of the Pilot Pen against Jennifer Capriati on Saturday, and received a cortisone shot ahead of the match.

"It doesn't feel 100% all the time," said Davenport, "but it's something I've chosen to deal with because I really want to play here this year."

Fifth seed Amelie Mauresmo thrashed Indonesia's Angelique Widjaja 6-0 6-2, while 14th seed Amanda Coetzer beat Gabriela Lastra 6-0 6-2.

And Daniela Hantuchova, seeded ninth, got a desperately needed win after struggling for form for much of the season, beating Marion Bartoli of France 6-3 6-2.

Elsewhere, highly-rated Russian Vera Zvonareva, the 13th seed, swept past Slovakian Lubomira Kurhajcova 6-3 6-2.

And yet another Russian made it to round two when 19th seed Nadia Petrova defeated Catalina Castano of Colombia 6-4 6-0.

Eleni Daniilidou was the second of the women's seeds to go out, the number 25 losing to Myriam Casanova of Switzerland 6-3 6-1.

Links to more US Open 2003 stories



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