Mauresmo withdraws with knee pain

Oct. 17, 2002 at 7:41 PM
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ZURICH, Switzerland, Oct. 17 (UPI) -- Third seed Amelie Mauresmo of France fell out of the Swisscom Challenge Thursday without taking the court.

Mauresmo, the world's fourth-ranked player, injured her knee in practice Wednesday and felt pain Thursday morning while walking up some stairs. She pulled out of her second-round match against Switzerland's Patty Schnyder with inflammation of her right lateral meniscus.

"I was hitting with my coach and suddenly I started to feel the pain, like a knife going into my knee," said Mauresmo, who returned to her Geneva home for further tests. "I thought nothing of it, but it was still there after a few points, so I got a little worried. I just need to know that it's nothing serious, so I need to get it examined."

Because the Frenchwoman received a first-round bye, her place was taken by lucky loser Elena Bovina. But Schnyder beat the Russian, 2-6, 6-4, 6-3.

American qualifier Alexandra Stevenson knocked off fifth seed and last year's runner-up Jelena Dokic of Yugoslavia, 7-6 (8-6), 4-6, 7-5. Stevenson used her big serve to great effect, serving 16 aces but also made 19 double faults. The win could launch the former Wimbledon semifinalist to a career-high ranking of around No. 22.

"It wasn't very good tennis, but I pulled it out," said Stevenson, who reached a final in February in Memphis.

With her boyfriend, world No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt, cheering her on, sixth seed Kim Clijsters of Belgium thrashed South African Amanda Coetzer, 6-1, 6-1, in 76 minutes. Clijsters is on a roll, having won her second title of the year last week at Filderstadt.

Clijsters will face defending champion Lindsay Davenport of the United States in the quarterfinals for the second week in a row. Davenport leads the matchup, 5-3.

Seventh seed Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia saved four match points against Elena Dementieva of Russia before emerging with a 3-6, 7-6 (7-4), 7-6 (8-6) victory in two hours, 53 minutes.

After losing the first set, Hantuchova was down, 3-5, 15-40 in the second. But Dementieva hit double faults on two of her match points and the Russian repelled three match points at 6-3 in the third-set tiebreaker. On the fourth, however, she put a volley into the net.

"It was a very close match, and I think that never happened to me before - to win a match from being four match points down. So this match really means a lot to me and gave me a lot of confidence," Hantuchova said. "I mean, up until that point I don't think I was playing my tennis at all. I was not happy the way I was hitting the ball, but after the 5-4 game I started to feel more and more confident and started to play my tennis."

The Slovakian hopes to have enough for Friday's encounter with Schnyder.

"(The match) took a lot out of me because I think we had really long rallies at the end of the match, and it was really hard hitting, so it took a lot out of me," she said. "But winning matches this close, it's always great and it gives me a lot of experience, and I just need to get reay for tomorrow and be fresh."

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