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Russia's tennis players continue to make progress at the Australian Open
Russia's tennis players continue to make progress at the Australian Open on the third day of the first Grand Slam tennis event of the 2006 season. Four Russian ladies made it through to the third round Wednesday, with other players yet to take to the court. Sixth seed Nadezhda Petrova won in straight sets 6:4, 6:1 against Germany's Martina Muller, while 19-year-old Yelena Vesnina also defeated another player from Germany, Julia Schruff, in straight sets 6:0, 7:5. Former U.S. Open Champion Svetlana Kuznetsova, seeded 14 in Melbourne, came out on top in a three-set battle against Arantxa Parra Santonja from Spain 6:2, 6:7 (3:7), 6:2. Maria Kirilenko also progressed by ending compatriot Galina Voskoboyeva's tournament with a 6:7 (1:7), 4:6 victory. However, it was not all plain sailing for Russia's ladies. Yekaterina Bychkova lost to Italy's Maria Elena Camerin and Yelena Likhovtseva, seeded 18, also failed to beat Virginia Ruano Pascual from Spain. Former world no.1 Maria Sharapova, seeded 4, is due to take on Ashley Harkleroad from the United States and Dmitry Tursunov will be the only Russian playing in the men's singles in an encounter against Tommy Robredo from Spain. In all, 11 Russian women and four men tennis player started the tournament, which has a total of about $15 million in prize money up for grabs.
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