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Tennis: Serena Williams Ousted from Australian Open

Defending women's champion Serena Williams of the United States has been ousted in the third round of the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne.

The 13th-seeded Williams, whose older sister Venus was upset in the first round, was eliminated by 17th-seeded Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia, 6-1, 7-6. Hantuchova will next face fourth-seed Maria Sharapova of Russia. Sharapova trounced Croatian Jelena Kostanic, 6-0, 6-1.

Elsewhere Friday, top-seed Lindsay Davenport of the United States needed three sets to get past Russian Maria Kirilenko, 6-4, 4-6, 6-4. Sixth-seed Nadia Petrova of Russia beat Maria Elena Camerin of Italy (6-1, 6-2). And eighth-seed Justine Henin-Hardenne of Belgium topped Virginie Razzano of France (6-4, 6-1).

Highlighting men's play, second-seed Andy Roddick of the United States was a straight-sets winner over Frenchman Julien Benneteau (6-1, 6-2, 6-2). Argentina David Nalbandian, the fourth seed, defeated Jarkko Nieminen of Finland (2-6, 6-3, 6-2, 7-5).

Seventh-seed Ivan Ljubicic of Croatia downed Spaniard Feliciano Lopez (7-5, 7-6, 6-0). Frenchman Fabrice Santoro upset eighth-seed Gaston Gaudio of Argentina in five sets (6-3, 6-2, 5-7, 1-6, 6-4).

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.