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Hantuchova sorry for ‘Sugi’

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Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:37

Hantuchova, who is unseeded at Wimbledon for the first time since 2004, came from a break down in the first set to gain a 6-4 6-3 victory over Ai Sugiyama, of Japan.

“It’s never a nice feeling having to play Sugi because she’s one of my best friends,” said Hantuchova. “We’ve got such a great history together.

Hantuchova added: “She’s a great person so winning or losing I knew always it was going to be a strange feeling for me, so I just tried to take it as another tennis match and not to think that she was on the other side. I said sorry after the match.”

Hantuchova, from Slovakia, has been struggling with ‘flu this week but will have the weekend to fully recover for her fourth-round match against Serena Williams, against whom she has already lost twice at Wimbledon.

Williams beat Italy’s Roberta Vinci 6-3 6-4, while fourth seed Elena Dementieva needed just 59 minutes to book her place in the last 16 by thrashing fellow Russian Regina Kulikova 6-1 6-2.

Dementieva’s next opponent will be another Russian, Elena Vesnina, who gained a 7-5 4-6 6-4 win over 14th seed Dominika Cibulkova, of Slovakia.

Tenth seed Nadia Petrova came from a set and a break down to complete a third successive win over Argentina’s Gisela Dulko, the second-round conqueror of Maria Sharapova.

France’s Virginie Razzano was given a free passage through to the fourth round when seventh seed Vera Zvonareva pulled out with an ankle injury.

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