Mauresmo, Kuznetsova ousted

Melbourne, January 21:

Defending champion Amelie Mauresmo and No 3 Svetlana Kuznetsova are gone. Serena Williams is still around, as are Roger Federer and Andy Roddick to set up what should be a compelling second week of tennis at the Australian Open.

Seven-time Grand Slam champion Williams, who missed most of last season with a knee injury, showed glimpses of her peak form in a 6-3, 6-2 win over 11th-seeded Jelena Jankovic on Sunday.

Second-seeded Mauresmo floated right out, falling 6-4, 6-3 to 70th-ranked Lucie Safarova. Kuznetsova lost 6-4, 6-2 to Shahar Peer of Israel in the fourth round. Peer made the quarters at a major for the first time.

Williams covered the court with ease against Jankovic, despite question marks over her fitness and the fact that Jankovic was in form, coming to Melbourne with a title at Auckland and a run to the final at last week’s Sydney International.

Sixth-seeded Roddick beat No 9 Mario Ancic 6-3, 3-6, 6-1, 5-7, 6-4 to set up a men’s quarter-final against old friend and housemate Mardy Fish.

While Maria Sharapova had the day off and two top women were losing, Federer stayed on track for a 10th Grand Slam with a mostly routine 6-2, 7-5, 6-3 win over 14th-seeded Novak Djokovic of Serbia. Federer was rarely threatened in his first night match of the tournament to upend Djokovic. Federer faced his first break point of the match — and only second overall — in the second set and netted an overhead smash to allow Djokovic to pull to within 4-3 and get back on serve.

But Federer broke again when it counted most, using his patented backhand cross-court to Djokovic when the Serbian was serving to stay in the second set. Federer finished off with an ace on match point. Federer plays seventh-seeded Tommy Robredo in the quarter-finals. Robredo beat Richard Gasquet of France 6-4, 6-2, 3-6, 6-4. The unseeded Fish made the last eight for the first time at a Grand Slam, beating David Ferrer 6-1, 7-6 (4), 2-6, 7-5.

Safarova next plays fellow country woman Nicole Vaidisova, who beat seventh-seeded Elena Dementieva 6-3, 6-3. In post-match comments, Safarova acknowledged her boyfriend — 13th-seeded Tomas Berdych — who beat Dmitry Tursunov 6-2, 6-1, 6-1 in a rain-delayed third-round match.