Kim Clijsters continued unhindered in her storming comeback to tennis as she hammered good friend Alicia Molik 6-0, 6-3 for a quarter-final place at the Brisbane International on Tuesday.
It took just an hour for surprise 2009 U.S. Open winner to go through at the expense of the Australian, a former number eight who is making a comeback to the sport — albeit in a lower mode than Clijsters.
Molik, ranked a shade under 200 in the world, had been looking for a first victory at the WTA level in two years.
But Molik had no answer for the power of the petite Belgian. Clijsters lifted the first eight games of the one-way contest to set her winning tone.
Berdych and Blake progress
Two of three seeds in the men’s section made first-round exits, with number four Czech Tomas Berdych the only early survivor as he started with a defeat of Australian Nick Lindahl 6-2, 6-4.
Former top 10 James Blake upended fifth-seeded compatriot Sam Querrey 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 as the rangy Californian played his first event since cutting his arm in a Bangkok accident and risking his career in September.
Aussie qualifier Matthew Ebden did himself proud with an upset of Austrian sixth seed Jurgen Melzer 7-5, 6-1.