Venus Williams felt the pain and couldn’t find the adrenaline to overcome it, so her Australian Open was over.
The American quit her match with 30th-ranked Andrea Petkovic of Germany after losing the first game yesterday. Justine Henin, who is tied with Williams with seven Grand Slam titles, also was a third-round loser, falling to Svetlana Kuznetsova at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne.
The fourth-seeded Williams had been the last American woman left in the draw.
It was the first time Williams, 30, quit a Grand Slam match. She took a nine-minute break for a hip-flexor strain in her second-round victory, and said after her withdrawal that her coach and parents probably felt she shouldn’t have tried to play.
“The last 48 hours I did as much pain management and recovery that I could,” Williams said at a news conference. “A lot of times when you play, you get this adrenaline that blocks pain. I just didn’t get enough of that.”
Henin lost 6-4, 7-6 (10-8) to Kuznetsova. The 11th-seeded Belgian, last year’s runner-up in Melbourne, exited before the quarterfinals in Australia for the first time since 2001.
“It’s disappointing to lose like this,” Henin said in a news conference. “It wasn’t the best day I’ve had in my career.”
Men’s Top Seeds
Defending champion Roger Federer continued his quest for a 17th major title, moving into the fourth round along with Novak Djokovic and Andy Roddick.
Federer, 29, the No. 2 seed from Switzerland, beat Xavier Malisse of Belgium at Rod Laver Arena. The third-seeded Djokovic moved on when his opponent quit after one set because of an injury. Roddick served 32 aces and won in four sets.
Henin had nine double faults and more than twice as many unforced errors (41) as winners (20). Kuznetsova, the 23rd seed from Russia, also struggled at times, especially in the late stages.
Kuznetsova served for the match at 5-4 and again at 6-5, and was broken each time. She then blew three match points in the tiebreaker before winning when Henin hit a forehand wide on the final shot.
Henin, 28, entered the tournament having not played an official match since hurting her right elbow at Wimbledon last year.
“I’m not 100 percent, I knew it before walking on the court,” Henin said in a news conference. “It’s been difficult in the last three days on my elbow and I just did everything that I could.”
Top women’s seed Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark reached the fourth round with a 6-4, 6-3 victory over No. 29 Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia. Also advancing were reigning French Open champion Francesca Schiavone of Italy, the sixth seed; No. 8 Victoria Azarenka of Belarus; No. 9 Li Na of China; and No. 14 Maria Sharapova of Russia.
Federer won 6-3, 6-3, 6-1 over Malisse, a 30-year-old ranked 45th in the world. It was his record 57th victory at the Australian Open, breaking the mark he shared with Sweden’s Stefan Edberg.
“Playing on Rod Laver Arena or any center court around the world is obviously a lot of fun,” Federer, said in a news conference. “It takes a lot of hard work to get there. When you’re there, you want to stay.”
Roddick, an American seeded eighth, won 2-6, 7-6 (7-2), 6-2, 6-2 over Robin Haase of the Netherlands, who was bothered by an ankle injury. Djokovic won his only set 6-2 against fellow Serb Viktor Troicki and will next face No. 14 Nicolas Almagro of Spain.
Sixth-seeded Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic and No. 9 Fernando Verdasco of Spain advanced in straight sets. Stanislas Wawrinka, the 19th seed from Switzerland, beat No. 12 Gael Monfils of France 7-6 (7-4), 6-2, 6-2.
Top seed Rafael Nadal of Spain meets unseeded Australian Bernard Tomic in men’s third-round play today, with No. 4 Robin Soderling of Sweden and fifth-seeded Andy Murray of Britain also in action. In the women’s draw, second-seeded Vera Zvonareva faces Lucie Saferova of the Czech Republic and No. 3 Kim Clijsters of Belgium meets Aliza Cornet of France.