Sunday, September 5, 2010

Clijsters cruises into quarters

US Open, Flushing Meadows
Dates: 30 August - 12 September Start time: 1600 BST
Coverage: Live text commentary on BBC Sport website and mobiles; updates on BBC Radio 5 live; live on Sky Sports

Kim Clijsters
Clijsters sends out a message to her rivals with an imperious display on Sunday

Defending champion Kim Clijsters demolished Ana Ivanovic 6-2 6-1 to ease into the US Open quarter-finals.

The pair struggled with their serve until the Belgian broke twice to lead 5-2 and it proved to be the turning point as the Serb, 22, capitulated.

After taking the first set, the second-seeded Clijsters raced to a 4-0 lead and despite conceding a service break, bounced back to win in 59 minutes.

The 27-year-old will next face fifth seed Sam Stosur or Elena Dementieva.

Stosur and Dementieva, the Russian 12th seed, will play under the lights in the evening session on Arthur Ashe.


With bluster conditions returning to Flushing Meadows on Sunday, Clijsters and Ivanovic suffered early breaks of serve, and it was last year's US champion who slowly seized control with a dominant combination of aggression and tireless defence.

It took the Belgian, who recently returned to tennis after retiring in 2007, half an hour to wrap up the opening set with a crushing back-hand to leave Ivanovic stranded and increasingly frustrated.

Although Ivanovic, currently ranked 40, showed brief glimpses of the talent that took her to number one status two years ago, there was no stopping Clijsters as she powered to a 4-0 lead before wrapping up another victory without dropping a set.

After taking her match-winning run at the US Open to 18, Clijsters said: "I played well and I'm happy to get through in two sets.

"It's all about staying with her. She's a player who likes to grow in confidence and then she takes more risks when she's ahead.

"Once she started to make errors I tried to really get in and be aggressive and play my game. I'm happy with the way I'm improving."

French Open champion Francesca Schiavone was another comfortable third-round victor with a 6-3 6-0 win over 20th seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.

The sixth-seeded Italian continued her fine run with a strong performance on Louis Armstrong to overcome the Russian 19-year-old who was in the fourth round at a Grand Slam for the first time.

Pavlyuchenkova required medical attention on her right arm and racked up four double-faults and 29 unforced errors as Schiavone made the last eight at Flushing Meadows for the first time in seven years.

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