Day of Upsets in Cincy
Published August 13, 2009 09:33
CINCINNATI, OH, USA - The Kim Clijsters train kept steaming along at full speed on Thursday, following up back-to-back Top 20 wins in the first two matches of her comeback with her first Top 10 victory, defeating Svetlana Kuznetsova in the round of 16. Cincinnati: Thursday Highlights
Clijsters, who retired in May 2007 to start a family, received a wildcard into the Western & Southern Financial Group Women's Open, the stage of her much-anticipated Sony Ericsson WTA Tour comeback. She knocked off world No.13 Marion Bartoli and world No.20 Patty Schnyder in straight sets in her first two rounds; in her third one she beat Kuznetsova, the reigning French Open champion and world No.6, 64 46 62. Highlights: Clijsters vs. Kuznetsova
"When a person is prepared, they have a good chance. She has won the US Open before, and she knows how to do it," Kuznetsova said. "She was out before with a wrist injury and she came back and won Indian Wells and Miami back-to-back. When she comes back, she always comes back in shape." Shot of the Day
Next up for the unranked Clijsters is world No.1 Dinara Safina, who beat Peng Shuai in the feature night match, 63 64. The lowest-ranked player ever to beat a reigning world No.1 was Julie Coin, who was ranked No.188 in the world when she surprised Ana Ivanovic in the second round of last year's US Open. Interview: Kim Clijsters
"Kim is a great player. She's playing exactly how she did before she retired. I'm really looking forward to it," Safina said. "You cannot lose your talent. It's still there. Give Sampras a racquet now and he'll play the same. She's young."
Two other upsets saw the Williams sisters both bundled out, beginning with No.14 seed Flavia Pennetta beating No.3 seed Venus Williams, 76(2) 64, her fourth win in their seven meetings. Pennetta has now won 14 matches in a row, having gone 5-0 to win Palermo three weeks ago, 6-0 to win Los Angeles last week and now 3-0 here. Highlights: Pennetta vs. V.Williams
"When I came to the court, I was just focused on my game and everything was working very well," Pennetta said. "My confidence now is perfect. I believed I could beat her again. Most of the other players go on the court thinking they want to play a good match against the top players. If you go on there thinking you just want to make a good result, you can never win against them." Interview: Flavia Pennetta
"I made too many errors today, but I have to give her lots of credit for playing well and keeping so many balls in play," Williams said. "I could have been more aggressive and consistent. I was confident, but it would have been nice to capitalize on my opportunities. I'll just have to be ready for my next match."
Serena Williams, the No.2 seed, followed big sister to the sidelines shortly afterwards, losing to Sybille Bammer, 75 64. Bammer had also won their only previous meeting, at Hobart the week before the Australian Open two years ago, right before Williams stormed to the Grand Slam title. The Austrian won that one, 36 75 63. Highlights: Bammer vs. S.Williams
"I played my best and I'm happy I won," said Bammer, whose win over Williams was her equal-biggest win, next to her win over a No.2-ranked Kuznetsova at Doha last year. "When I won the first set, I knew I was ready and I could win. I know Serena can be down and come back to win, so I tried to be really focused on my game and calm and aggressive. But tomorrow is a different day."
In other matches, No.4 seed Elena Dementieva beat Sorana Cirstea, 64 64; No.5 seed Jelena Jankovic edged No.9 seed Victoria Azarenka, 75 76(4); Daniela Hantuchova upset No.7 seed Vera Zvonareva in a marathon, 76(6) 06 76(5); and No.8 seed Caroline Wozniacki advanced when Melinda Czink retired down 3-0 first set with a low back injury.