Clijsters comeback keeps rolling

Playing her second competitive match in more than two years, Kim Clijsters reached the third-round of the Western & Southern Financial Group Open with a 6-2, 7-5 win over Patty Schnyder on Wednesday.

Clijsters who retired in May 2007 and gave birth to a daughter in February 2008, knocked out 12{+t}{+h}-seeded Marion Bartoli in straight sets on Monday. The 2005 U.S. Open champion followed up by never losing her serve against the 20{+t}{+h}-ranked Schnyder.

“Does it look easy?” Clijsters said. “I started off playing well. It’s a really good feeling. I’m moving well. I’m very happy with the way I’m starting. It helps your confidence to get into a rhythm.”

Clijsters is scheduled to meet sixth-seeded Svetlana Kuznetsova in the next round, with a possible quarterfinal looming against top-seeded Dinara Safina. Clijsters has won six of her seven matches against Kuznetsova.

“I knew coming in that this was a big tournament,” Clijsters said. “I knew it was going to be tough from the start, and I’m glad I’m still going. Patty’s a good player. We’ve had a lot of tough matches, a lot of three-setters, so I’m glad I got out in two.”

Second-seeded Serena Williams had 14 aces, nine in the second set, on her way to a 6-3, 6-2 win over Kateryna Bondarenko of Ukraine.

“I’ve been working really hard on it,” said Williams, who’s won the Australian Open and Wimbledon this year. “I’m glad it’s coming through. I hope I can keep it up for the rest of the tournament and the (U.S.) Open.”

Unseeded Melinda Czink of Hungary and Sybille Bammer of Austria turned in the day’s only upsets. Czink knocked off 11{+t}{+h}-seeded and former No. 1 Ana Ivanovic 7-6 (6), 7-5, and Bammer eliminated 13{+t}{+h}-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland 6-0, 7-5.

Fourth-seeded Elena Dementieva also advanced with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Yanina Wickmayer of Belgium as seeded players swept almost all of the other second-round matches. Only No. 7-seeded Vera Zvonareva and eighth-seeded Caroline Wozniacki dropped sets. Zvonareva beat fellow Russian Alisa Kleybanova 6-4, 1-6, 7-5, and Wozniacki came from behind to pull out a 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 win over Aleksandra Wozniak of Canada.

Ninth-seeded Victoria Azarenka of Belarus moved on with a 6-4, 6-2 win over Anna Chakvetzade of Russia, and 14{+t}{+h}-seeded Flavia Pennetta scored a 6-2, 6-4 win over Agnes Szavay of Hungary. Also advancing were Slovakia’s Daniela Hantuchova with a 7-5, 1-6, 6-4 win over Ukraine’s Alona Bondarenko, China’s Peng Shuai with a 5-7, 6-2, 6-1 win over Spain’s Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez, and Romania’s Sorana Cirstea by knocking off Germany’s Anna-Lena Groenefeld 6-3, 6-2.

Fifth-seeded Jelena Jankovic, playing her first match after first-round bye, advanced with a 7-6 (6), 6-3 win over Maria Kirilenko of Russia.

“First match for me, it’s never easy,” Jankovic said. “It takes time to get used to the conditions to playing matches again.”

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Printable version | Feb 18, 2020 12:27:40 AM |

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