World No. 1 Justine Henin-Hardenne reached the quarterfinals of the Bausch & Lomb Championships by rallying Thursday to deny Conchita Martinez her 700th career victory.
Henin-Hardenne won 2-6, 7-5, 6-3 despite losing her serve three times in each of the first two sets of the third-round match.
Second-seeded Serena Williams came back from 3-0 down in the second set to beat Karolina Sprem of Croatia 6-1, 7-5, and set up a quarterfinal against No. 7 Nadia Petrova of Russia. Petrova handled Petra Mandula of Hungary 6-1, 6-4.
Spaniard Martinez, the tournament champion in 1995, was in position to become only the seventh woman in the Open era to win 700 matches when she took a set against Henin-Hardenne for the first time in six career matches.
But Henin-Hardenne broke Martinez to love in the 11th game to win the second set, and held on after breaking in the fourth game of the third set.
The Belgian next faces eighth-seeded Vera Zvonareva of Russia, who hammered No. 12 Patty Schnyder of Switzerland 6-2, 6-3 in only 50 minutes. Schnyder, twice a quarterfinalist here, made 21 unforced errors and won only a third of her first serves.
Former champion Amelie Mauresmo of France ousted Czech qualifier Barbora Strycova 6-3, 6-4 to reach her third quarterfinals in four tournaments this year.
Mauresmo, who won this tournament in 2001, took the last three games of the first set against Strycova, the 2002 world junior girls champion, and broke once more in the eighth game of the second set.
Third-seeded Mauresmo is appearing in her first tournament in nine weeks following a back injury, and on Friday will meet 10th-seeded Silvia Farina Elia of Italy.
Farina Elia won 6-2, 6-2 against Jelena Kostanic, the Croatian who knocked out defending champion Elena Dementieva in the second round.
Ninth-seeded Paola Suarez of Argentina broke No. 6 Ai Sugiyama of Japan to force a tiebreaker, and went on to win 7-5, 7-6 (8).
Grande reaches quarterfinals in Casablanca
Defending champion Rita Grande beat local wild-card entry Bahia Mouhtassine 6-3, 6-3 Thursday to reach the quarterfinals of the Grand Prix SAR.
Grande next faces seventh-seeded Lubomira Kurhajcova, who defeated Flavia Pennetta 6-4, 6-3.
In other action, fourth-seeded Ludmila Cervanova downed Eva Birnerova 6-3, 6-3 and now plays Polish qualifier Marta Domachowska. She advanced when Gala Leon Garcia of Spain retired with a hip injury after losing the first set 6-1.
The other quarterfinals Friday pit top-seeded Emilie Loit of France against Marta Marrero of Spain, and eighth-seeded Maria Elena Camerin of Italy against 2002 runner-up Klara Koukalova of the Czech Republic.
Rafael Nadal is currently ranked fourth in the world, but has had a dominant run lately as he has won seven of the last eight French Open titles. Mary Carrillo thinks we’re in store for a Nadal-Djokovic final.
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