March 27, 2007 11:33:04 pm
Two previous champions Kim Clijsters and Svetlana Kuznetsova were ousted in three-setters in the fourth round of the Sony Ericsson Open on Monday. Clijsters, the 2005 winner, was caught from behind by Li Na of China 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 and defending champ Kuznetsova lost to Shahar Peer of Israel 6-4, 4-6, 6-3.
Former three-time champ Serena Williams set up a showdown with top-seeded Maria Sharapova, who ousted Venus Williams on Sunday, and second-seeded Justine Henin strolled into the quarter finals by beating Vera Zvonareva of Russia 6-3, 6-2.
In men’s play, top-ranked Roger Federer served poorly but still beat Nicolas Almagro of Spain 7-5, 6-3 to reach the fourth round. Federer won his 14th match in a row at Key Biscayne, where he seeks his third consecutive title. He will next face Argentine qualifier Guillermo Canas, who ended Federer’s 41-match winning streak two weeks ago at Indian Wells. Canas advanced by beating Richard Gasquet of France 7-6 (3), 6-3.
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