Henin and Gasquet back with wins
Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:58
Former world number one Henin, playing her first tournament in over a year and a half after retiring from the game in May 2008, beat second seed Nadia Petrova 7-5 7-5 in one hour and 37 minutes.
She will now play Kazakhstan’s Sesil Karatantcheva, who won a topsy-turvy encounter against home favourite Casey Dellacqua 6-2 0-6 7-6 (7/1).
Gasquet was also impressive on his return, beating Finland’s Jarkko Nieminen 6-3 4-6 6-4.
Frenchman Gasquet is hoping to return to the top 10 following a controversial 2009 in which the Court of Arbitration for Sport finally cleared him of wrongdoing after he failed a drugs test in March.
Gasquet insisted he inadvertently took cocaine after kissing a woman in a Miami nightclub – a claim backed by CAS despite the International Tennis Federation (ITF) and World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) demanding the player be banned.
After his match, the Frenchman said: “It was good to play with nothing in my head. It was important I could play relaxed.”
Elsewhere in the men’s draw, seventh seed Jeremy Chardy went out at the first-round stage, beaten 6-4 6-4 by Colombia’s Alejandro Falla.
Chardy’s fellow Frenchmen Arnaud Clement and Michael Llodra also lost, to Wayne Odesnik and Harel Levy respectively, but Marc Gicquel did go through thanks to a 6-3 6-1 win over Philipp Petzschner.
Third seed Ana Ivanovic, another former world number one, beat Jelena Dokic 7-5 1-6 6-3 but fifth seed Alisa Kleybanova suffered a 6-4 2-6 6-2 defeat to fellow Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. Lucie Safarova, Timea Bacsinszky and Roberta Vinci were also victorious.