Pratt wins again, three other Aussies lose - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Pratt wins again, three other Aussies lose

By John Salvado 17/01/2003 11:14:49 PM Comments (0)

Playing the best tennis of her life just two months short of her 30th birthday, Nicole Pratt on Friday became the first Australian woman in a decade to reach the fourth round of her home grand slam tournament.

Pratt kept the errors to a minimum to down No.23 seed Paola Suarez of Argentina 7-5 6-4 and book a daunting round of 16 clash with second seed Venus Williams.

Teenage wildcard Samantha Stosur was right in the first set against Slovak star Daniela Hantuchova before losing 6-4 6-2, while Evie Dominikovic went down in straight sets to Czech Denisa Chladkova.

Peter Luczak's thrilling run through his first-ever grand slam tournament also came to an end against rising Croatian star Mario Ancic.

But it was Pratt who flew the Australian flag on day five, becoming the first local woman since Nicole Bradtke (nee Provis) in 1993 to reach the fourth round at Melbourne Park.

Pratt's strengths have always been her fitness and consistency and they were to the fore again on Friday.

She made just 14 unforced errors compared to 43 by Suarez, while hitting only seven winners to the free-swinging Argentinian's 32.

"She's not a girl who's going to hit many winners, we have completely different games," said Suarez.

"But I made my mistakes on the important points."

Pratt's first sporting claim to fame was being beaten by fellow Mackay resident Cathy Freeman in a primary school athletics carnival.

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