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.