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22.01.2007 Tennis


By by dilaso (soulhour&spiritfmpowersports)
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Martina Hingis and Kim Clijsters are set to go head-to-head in the quarter-finals of the Australian Open after the duo came through tricky fourth round ties.

Three-time champion Hingis overcame a nervy start to see off Li Na 4-6 6-3 6-0, while Clijsters accounted for Slovak 15th seed Daniela Hantuchova 6-1 7-5.

And Clijsters is looking forward to facing her friend in the last eight for the second successive year.

The Belgian, who won that encounter last year 6-3 2-6 6-4, said: "It's always a pleasure to play her again here.

"She's just a great champion. We get along on and off the court as well."

Hingis had to battle back from losing the first set to book her place in the quarter-finals.

Chinese 19th seed Na produced a storming start, however she couldn't maintain her run as the pressure got to her.

And Hingis admitted: "She came out on fire and I've never played her before so I knew it was going to be a difficult match, she had a great win against (ninth seed Dinara) Safina.

"I knew I had to come out with the best and thank God after the first set I started playing a lot better."

Anna Chakvetadze is through to her first Grand Slam quarter-final after she toppled an out-of-sorts eighth seed Patty Schnyer 6-4 6-1.

Schnyer has failed to find her form in Melbourne and 12th seed Chakvetadze made her pay with a superb display.

Chakvetadze will face a much tougher task in the last eight, with No.1 seed Maria Sharapova next up.

Sharapova was pushed all the way by fellow Russian Vera Zvonareva - however the 19-year-old had just too much class as she ground out a 7-5 6-4 victory.

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