MELBOURNE, Jan. 24 (UPI) -- Dinara Safina and Svetlana Kuznetsova, two of the top three seeded women, are out of the field of the Australian Open after Sunday's fourth-round play.
Safina, a finalist at the event a year ago and seeded second in 2010, withdrew when a lingering back issue limited her play and the third-seeded Kuznetsova fell to 19th-seeded Nadia Petrova.
It was the second big win in as many matches for Petrova, who knocked off U.S. Open champion Kim Clijsters 6-0, 6-1 Friday. Sunday's 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 win over Kuznetsova wasn't as lop-sided but got Petrova into the Australian Open quarterfinals for the second time.
Safina trailed Maria Kirilenko 4-5 when she left the court. She said after the match the pain was so bad she couldn't even lie on the training table for treatment. The same injury forced her from last October's WTA Tour Championships.
Petrova is the only seeded player remaining in the bottom half of the draw. She goes against Henin, who owns a 12-2 series advantage against Petrova, in the quarterfinals while Kirilenko plays Zheng, who has won four of the five times she's played Kirilenko.