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Sharapova, Nadal Win Early Matches at Australian Open


Top-seeded Maria Sharapova of Russia has overcome searing heat and a second-set loss to defeat Frenchwoman Camille Pin and advance to the second round of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne.

Playing in temperatures that soared above 40 degrees Celsius Tuesday, Sharapova withstood stomach cramps and a determined opponent to outlast Pin, 6-3, 4-6, 9-7, in a match that lasted almost three hours.

Other top-10 seeded women were also successful, as No. 4 Kim Clijsters of Belgium swept Russia's Vasilisa Bardina, 6-0, 6-0, while sixth-seeded Martina Hingis of Switzerland upended Frenchwoman Nathalie Dechy, 6-0, 6-2. No. 12 Anna Chakvetadze of Russia and Serbia's 13th-seeded Ana Ivanovic also advanced.

Second-seeded Rafael Nadal of Spain got to play on center court with the stadium roof closed after tournament officials enforced the extreme heat rules. He took advantage by beating American Robert Kendrick, 7-6, 6-3, 6-2 without dropping his serve.

Other men's top-10 seeds making it into the second round were No. 3 Nikolay Davydenko, a 6-2, 7-5, 6-2 winner over Sergio Roitman of Argentina. Fifth-seeded American James Blake beat Spaniard Carlos Moya, 7-6, 6-2, 6-4, No. 8 David Nalbandian of Argentina advanced when Serbia's Janko Tipsarevic retired down 6-7, 4-6, 7-6, 6-0, 2-1 and 10th-seeded Fernando Gonzalez of Chile topped Russia's Evgeny Korolev, 6-7, 7-6, 6-3, 6-2.

No. 12 Tommy Haas of Germany knocked off Spain's Albert Montanes, 7-5, 6-1, 7-6, 13th-seeded Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic defeated Lee Hyung-taik of South Korea, 6-1, 6-2, 6-2, while No. 15 Andy Murray of Scotland dominated Spain's Alberto Martin, 6-0, 6-0, 6-1.

Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.