Clijsters enjoys mental strength
Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:47
Belgium’s Clijsters had not played at Flushing Meadows since winning the 2005 title but armed with a wild card in her third tournament since returning to the game, the 26-year-old reached the quarter-finals with a 6-0 0-6 6-4 victory over the two-time champion from the United States in an hour and 42 minutes at Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Clijsters said her performance in a “weird” match meant she was unable to measure herself against one of the biggest names in tennis but there were still plenty of positives to take out of the victory.
“I know that Venus wasn’t playing her best tennis so its hard to compare anything in today’s match,” Clijsters said, “but there’s a lot of other things personally that I’m taking out of this.
“Just the mental strength that I kept focusing on and, although in that second set I wasn’t hitting the ball I was just trying to regroup.”
“She played really well and hit a lot of great shots,” Williams said in an interview with the WTA Tour.”
Next opponent Li Na took care of 24th seed Francesca Schiavone of Italy in straight sets 6-2 6-3 and while Venus took her leave, younger sister and second seed Serena Williams bludgeoned her way into the quarter-finals with a straight-sets destruction of Daniela Hantuchova.
Williams will next be up against 10th seed Flavia Pennetta, a 3-6 7-6 (8-6) 6-0 winner over a temperamental Vera Zvonareva of Russia despite facing six match points.
Italy’s Pennetta and the seventh seed served up an epic 12th game in the second set as the Italian saved four match points to force a tie-break. Pennetta had to save two more, all six of them with winners, before taking the tie-break 8-6 and forcing a deciding set.