Wozniacki marches on but Henin crashes out
World No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki remains on course in her bid to secure a first grand slam, as she shrugged off the challenge of Dominika Cibulkova to reach the fourth round of the Australian Open, but Justine Henin's challenge is over after she was beaten by Svetlana Kuznetsova.
Wozniacki is looking to avoid going the way of the likes of Dinara Safina and Jelena Jankovic who have topped the standings without winning a slam and then dropping off the radar. The Dane has made solid progress so far and showed her fighting qualities against an opponent who was in determined mood.
Cibulkova beat Wozniacki in Sydney last week, but she failed to repeat the dose after a topsy-turvy display. The Slovak crashed 31 winners, but she was undone by 41 unforced errors as Wozniacki secured a 6-4 6-3 win.
After brushing aside Cibulkova, Wozniacki enjoyed a sparring session with the media as she hit back at claims her press conferences are boring.
She took the initiative, by starting the conference herself and said: "You know, I find it quite, you know, funny because I always get the same questions. So I'm just going to start. I know what you're going to ask me already. So I'm just going to start with the answer." She went on to preempt questions about the match, her No. 1 ranking and not having won a grand slam yet.
Henin toppled Britain's Elena Baltacha in the previous round, but she found Kuznetsova a far bigger obstacle to overcome and was beaten 6-4 7-6(8).
Maria Sharapova had to dig deep to take out up-and-coming German youngster Julia Goerges 4-6 6-4 6-4. The two players served up stunning quality on the Hisense Arena and Goerges' play appeared to drag the best out of former Wimbledon champion Sharapova.
The Russian looked in trouble when dropping the first set, but she did not lose it by playing badly and gradually she dragged herself into the match. Goerges could have been forgiven for wilting after dropping the second set, but she refused to lie down and the pair traded winner after winner in the final set - with Sharapova edging things courtesy of some fine serving.
Francesca Schiavone's bid to add to her French Open title remains on course, but the No. 6 seed was made to work hard to secure a 6-0 7-6(2) win over Monica Niculescu. The Italian was joined in the fourth round by Li Na, with the ninth seed dropping just three games in beating Barbora Zahlavova Strycova 6-2 6-1.
Belarus' Victoria Azarenka made solid progress, as she enjoyed a routine 6-3 6-3 win over Chanelle Scheepers.