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Last Updated: Wednesday, 27 August, 2003, 01:30 GMT 02:30 UK
Henin grinds out victory
Women's round-up - day two

Maria Sharapova
Sharapova lit up Flushing Meadows with her pink dress

Russian 16-year-old Maria Sharapova moved a step closer to a third-round clash with sixth seed Jennifer Capriati at the US Open thanks to a 6-1 6-1 demolition of Spain's Virginia Ruano Pascual.

Capriati was equally impressive as she breezed past another Spaniard, Cristina Torrens Valero, 6-0 6-1 in just 35 minutes.

If the American beats Slovakia's Martina Sucha and Sharapova ousts France's Emilie Loit on Thursday, they will play each other in a mouth-watering battle on Saturday.

Second seed Justine Henin-Hardenne made hard work of Hungary's Aniko Kapros before grinding out a straight-sets victory in the first round.

The Belgian won 7-5 6-3 but was unconvincing against a Hungarian opponent who had an especially weak second serve.

Henin took six games to break Kapros for a 4-2 lead in the first set.

But Kapros, who displayed an impressive array of groundstrokes which belied her serving, broke back immediately.

Justine Henin-Hardenne in action against Aniko Kapros
Henin-Hardenne struggled in the first set
The next two games went against serve before Kapros won the 10th game of the set for 5-5.

Henin-Hardenne was able to graft to the next two games to clinch the first set in 54 minutes.

"The first match is always tough, especially in Grand Slams," said Henin-Hardenne.

"She played a good match - very, very good. I'm in the second round, that's the most important thing."

The Belgian broke again in the fourth game of the second set and eased to victory in business-like fashion in one hour 28 minutes.

Jelena Dokic, the 22nd seed, has been struggling with her form for much of the season but had no trouble against Emmanuelle Gagliardi of Switzerland, winning 6-4 6-2.

But Magdalena Maleeva became the latest seed to fall, the number 10 going down 6-4 6-3 to Shinobu Asagoe.





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