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DENT HITS 120 WINNERS; VENUS, CLIJSTERS ADVANCE

THE BALTIMORE SUN

NEW YORK - -Taylor Dent, who thought he would be lucky to walk normally after three back surgeries, had 120 winners Friday, hit a 147-mph serve among his 20 aces and finally gave the U.S. Open men's tournament a bit of buzz with his 6-4, 5-7, 6-7 (1), 7-5, 7-6 (9) win over Ivan Navarro in the second round.

Former Open champions Venus Williams and Kim Clijsters won third-round matches. They'll play Sunday. Clijsters, back only a month from a two-year retirement and unseeded because of her time off, routed fellow Belgian Kirsten Flipkens, 6-0, 6-2.

Third seed Venus Williams beat 46th-ranked Magdalena Rybarikova of Slovakia, 6-2, 7-5, but limped. Williams is playing with her left knee heavily taped.

Her sister, defending women's champion Serena Williams, beat Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez, 6-4, 7-5.

Among the men's winners were second-seeded Andy Murray, sixth-seeded Juan Martin del Potro, seventh-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, 24th-seeded Juan Carlos Ferrero and 16th-seeded Marin Cilic of Croatia, who came back from two sets down to beat American Jesse Levine, 4-6, 2-6, 6-0, 6-3, 6-0.

Stat of the day: : Tenth-seeded Flavia Pennetta reached the fourth round, losing only six games. That's the fewest for a woman with three full matches since Steffi Graf lost four into the fourth round in 1988. Graf won the tournament.

Upset of the day: : Eighth-seeded Victoria Azarenka of Belarus double-faulted on match point in her 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 loss to 26th-seeded Francesca Schiavone of Italy and then smashed her racket.

Quote of the day: : Del Potro of Argentina on why the U.S. Open is his favorite major: "I like the city. I like everything here, the crowd, the stadium not too big. I always dream with this moment. It's my favorite." Note that Del Potro was playing at Louis Armstrong Stadium and not 23,000-seat Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Today's featured matches: : Top-seeded and five-time defending champion Roger Federer meets 31st-seeded Lleyton Hewitt who won the 2001 Open, followed by Melanie Oudin against 29th-seeded Maria Sharapova and 6-foot-9 John Isner against fifth-seeded Andy Roddick. The night session has first-seeded Russian Dinara Safina against 72nd-ranked Petra Kvitova and 14th-seeded Tommy Robredo against 21st-seeded James Blake.

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