Clijsters progresses in Australia

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The Independent Online

Reigning US Open champion Kim Clijsters was among the seeds to progress to the women's singles third round at the Australian Open in Melbourne today.

Second seed Dinara Safina, third seed Svetlana Kuznetsova and eighth seed Jelena Jankovic all went through to the third round.

Fourth seed Caroline Wozniacki, meanwhile, negotiated her first-round tie successfully, as did seventh seed Victoria Azarenka and ninth seed Vera Zvonareva.

Clijsters prevailed in a tricky second-round match with veteran Tamarine Tanasugarn, winning 6-3 6-3.

The 26-year-old Belgian, however, was far from comfortable against the heavy hitting of her 32-year-old Thai opponent.

Tanasugarn, who reached the quarter-finals of Wimbledon in 2008, was able to dictate points against the 15th seed who needed one hour and 39 minutes to fend off the challenge from the world number 99.

"Tammy was very tricky," said Clijsters, who will now face 19th seed Nadia Petrova of Russia, a 6-4 6-4 winner over Estonia's Kaia Kanepi.

"I haven't played her for a few years. I was actually surprised to see she was still playing.

"But she's very tricky. (It is) very hard to read her game.

"But she doesn't give you anything where you can just step in and hit a lot of winners.

"So I just had to be patient, wait for the right shot to go for it."

Russia's Safina beat Barbora Zahlavova Strycova of the Czech Republic 6-3 6-4 and will now meet Britain's Elena Baltacha, who knocked out 30th seed Kateryna Bondarenko 6-2 7-5 earlier in the day.

Safina's compatriot Kuznetsova beat fellow Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-2 6-2 and was satisfied with her display, but knows there is room for improvement.

"Overall I think I played aggressive," said Kuznetsova, who now faces Angelique Kerber of Germany, a 6-2 6-3 victor over 26th seed Aravane Rezai of France.

"I played well. The only thing I lost two serves in the first set.

"I had a very low percentage, 40%. I don't think is good enough."

Eighth seed Jelena Jankovic beat Britain's Katie O'Brien 6-2 6-2 and will now meet Alona Bondarenko in the third round.

The 31st seed from Ukraine was a 6-4 7-5 winner over Polona Hercog of Slovenia.

Other second-round winners were 11th seed Marion Bartoli of France, 27th seed Alisa Kleybanova of Russia, Belgium's Yanina Wickmayer, Russia's Maria Kirilenko, Italy's Sara Errani and Zheng Jie of China.

In the first round, Wozniacki of Denmark beat Canada's Aleksandra Wozniak 6-4 6-2 and Belarus' Azarenka defeated Stephanie Cohen-Aloro of France 6-2 6-0.

Russia's Zvonareva progressed at the expense of Kristina Kucova of Slovakia, while Sofia Arvidsson of Sweden, Switzerland's Stefanie Voegele and Li Na of China, the 16th seed, also won through to the next round.

Daniela Hantuchova, the 22nd seed, beat Viktoriya Kutuzova 3-6 6-1 7-5 to join them in round two, while Yaroslava Shvedova, Tsvetana Pironkova, Tathiana Garbin, Julia Goerges, Iveta Benesova, Agnes Szavay and 29th seed Shahar Peer all progressed.