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Henin-Hardenne Keeps Unbeaten Streak Alive

April 13, 2006

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) _ Defending champion Justine Henin-Hardenne extended her unbeaten streak at the Family Circle Cup to 13 matches Thursday, defeating Karolina Sprem 6-4, 6-4 to reach the quarterfinals.

Henin-Hardenne’s latest win on the green clay took more than 90 minutes on a warm, windy afternoon.

``After the match you can say it’s good, I won in two sets, but when you’re on the court you just think about winning every point that’s coming,″ said Henin-Hardenne, a Belgian who faces Dinara Safina of Russia on Friday.

Safina won 6-7 (6), 6-2, 6-2 over Julia Vakulenko, a qualifier who knocked off 10th-seeded Jelena Jankovik earlier in the week.

``You play against not the qualifier ranking _ you play against the player,″ Safina said later. ``You know she’s a player, she beat the good players.″

The warming weather was Henin-Hardenne’s main concern.

``I don’t have any problem physically,″ said Henin-Hardenne, who retired during the Australian Open finals this year because of stomach pains brought on by anti-inflammatory medication for a shoulder injury.

``Still my shoulder (has) a few issues, but not something major that is bothering me right now,″ she said. ``I think that the weather now, it’s going to be hotter and hotter day after day so we need to get used to it.″

Third-seeded Patty Schnyder of Switzerland stopped Mara Santangelo of Italy 3-6, 7-6 (2), 6-3 and next faces Nathalie Dechy of France, seeded No. 8, who defeated 11th-seeded Katarina Srebotnik of Slovakia 6-2, 6-3.

Schnyder said after falling behind and then winning the second-set tiebreaker, she felt she had the momentum on her side against the tournament’s 16th seed.

``I felt on the court I was not too confident and I could not really think that my game was on,″ she said. ``But I just kept fighting.″

Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia defeated Lourdes Dominguez Lino, Spain, 6-2, 6-1. Kuznetsova, the fourth seed and ranked No. 10 in the word, faces the winner of the night match between Anna-Lena Groenefeld of Germany and Anabel Medina Garrigues of Spain in another quarterfinal.

Unseeded Catalina Castano of Colombia was ahead 5-4 in the first set when her opponent 12th-seeded Marion Bartoli of France, retired with a inflamed knee.

Castano meets the winner of the match between second-seeded Nadia Petrova of Russia and Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic in the fourth quarterfinal of the $1.3 million tournament.