Originally created 09/03/04

French champs depart

NEW YORK - The hard courts of Flushing Meadows claimed French Open champions Anastasia Myskina and Gaston Gaudio on Thursday when the winners of the Grand Slam clay court titles both lost at the U.S. Open.

Myskina, seeded No. 4, fell to fellow Russian Anna Chakvetadze 7-6 (3), 6-3, and Gaudio, seeded No. 9, was defeated by Thomas Johansson 6-1, 2-6, 6-4, 6-4.

Earlier, Lindsay Davenport's summer of success stayed on course while Justine Henin-Hardenne's was nearly derailed at the U.S. Open.

Two-time Open champion Andre Agassi was briefly in trouble, splitting the first two sets against Florian Mayer 7-5, 2-6. But after the sixth-seeded Agassi won the third set 6-2 and was leading the fourth 1-0, Mayer was forced to retire with a thigh injury.

The fifth-seeded Davenport defeated Arantxa Parra Santonja 6-4, 6-2 and advanced to the third round of the season's final Slam. Then, top-seeded Henin-Hardenne survived a scare and held off qualifier Tzipi Obziler 6-2, 5-7, 6-2.

Myskina had all sorts of trouble with her serve, managing just 47 percent for the match and just 23 percent in the second set. There were 37 unforced errors leading to an early exit for a player who came in with a chance to overtake Henin-Hardenne for No. 1 in the world.

Gaudio had his opportunities, thanks largely to 53 unforced errors by Johansson. But he could not take advantage.

Davenport had some difficult moments, but they were nothing compared to the struggle Henin-Hardenne endured.

Beset by an unusual rash of early unforced errors, Davenport was broken in the fourth game of the first set and it seemed to get her attention. She broke right back to keep the set on serve and then broke Parra Santonja in the ninth game. Serving for the set, Davenport won it at love, finishing with an ace.

After that, she took charge.


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