The USA's Christina McHale, who impressed with her Australian Open wins over Lucie Safarova and Marina Erakovic, was swept aside easily by Jelena Jankovic in the third round yesterday. Jankovic, looking "like herself" throughout the match, wasn't bothered by McHale's retrieval skills, and won the match 6-2, 6-0. The 13ath seed will have a much harder job in the next round: She will face top seed Caroline Wozniacki, who defeated the always-entertaining Monica Niculescu in straight sets. Jankovic is 4-3 against Wozniacki, but all three of Wozniacki's victories occurred last year.
Iveta Benesova's serve continued to work for her in the third round. When the Czech player's serve is "on," it can do a lot of damage, as it did yesterday. Benesova hit 22 winners and made only 12 unforced errors against qualifier Nina Brathikova, whom she beat 6-1, 6-3. I enjoyed watching Bratchikova play.
In the round of 16, Benesova will play 3rd seed Victoria Azarenka, who defeated Hobart champion Mona Barthel in straight sets in the third round. (Note to Martina Navratilova: Not being able to challenge that last call wasn't "all" Azarenka's fault; a chair umpire with reasonable vision and who was paying attention would certainly have overruled.)
Li Na received an early (3-0 in the first set) retirement from Anabel Medina Garrigues, defending champion Kim Clijsters defeated Daniela Hantuchova, and Agnieszka Radwanska defeated Galina Voskoboeva (or "Viskaboova," as she was designated by a commentator). The match I most enjoyed watching was the one played by Romina Oprandi and Julia Goerges. Goerges defeated Oprandi 3-6, 6-3, 6-1. Oprandi kind of gave out in the final set, but the first two were quite competitive. Goerges hit 47 winners, including 8 aces.
Li and Clijsters, who played in last year's final, will meet in the round of 16, which means that one of the favorites to win the tournament will be eliminated soon. Unless someething goes wrong, this match should have the flavor of a final, and is certainly one of the most anticipated contests of the tournament.