Clijsters Cruises On, Zvonareva Up Next
Published June 27, 2012 12:00
LONDON, England - Kim Clijsters continued to cruise in her final Wimbledon on Wednesday, playing fast and cleanly to dismiss Andrea Hlavackova in 65 minutes in a second round match under the Centre Court roof, 63 63.
Clijsters, whose only time playing under the roof beforehand was in an exhibition match she played before coming back to the tour in 2009, blasted 18 winners and kept her unforced errors to just 10 during the straight set victory.
"I was very happy with the way everything went today," Clijsters said. "I felt it was another step upwards from my first match against Jankovic. I thought my opponent had a really tough game to read. She was serving well too. It was only a couple games here and there that made the difference in the match.
"We had a long match before us, so I was really focused once I got out there and just really tried to be ready for the match from the start."
Clijsters improved to 21-2 lifetime against Czech players, her only losses coming to Kveta Peschke in 1999 and Petra Kvitova in 2011. She is also 35-4 in Grand Slams since coming out of retirement, the only losses coming to Nadia Petrova, Vera Zvonareva, Arantxa Rus and Victoria Azarenka.
Speaking of Zvonareva, the No.12-seeded Russian continued to battle through the draw in somewhat of a comeback from a right shoulder injury, beating Spain's Sílvia Soler-Espinosa, 61 36 61. Zvonareva had withdrawn from four of her last five events because of her shoulder - including Roland Garros. But now seemingly healthy again, she has made her way into the third round.
Clijsters leads Zvonareva in their head-to-head series, 7-3, though there is a little bit of an asterisk, as Clijsters was 5-0 against the Russian before going into retirement in 2007 and 2-3 since coming out of retirement in 2009.
The only other player to beat Clijsters multiple times since 2009? Azarenka.
Zvonareva wasn't the only seed to advance to the third round, with Agnieszka Radwanska, Sabine Lisicki, Maria Kirilenko and Peng Shuai moving on. Lisicki had to battle past Bojana Jovanovski in a marathon, 36 62 86.
"I was a bit nervous, which I didn't expect in the beginning, so I didn't start off too well. But I kept fighting, and that's what counts in the end," Lisicki said. "I got through, so I get another chance to play better tennis next time.
"We'll go out there and practice tomorrow, so I should be fine."
Lisicki tried to pinpoint the source of the nerves. "It wasn't about the opponent, it was just playing at Wimbledon - I don't know, I was surprised by myself," the 2011 semifinalist said. "But I handled it well in the end, so I was fine."
Fallen seeds were No.5 seed Sam Stosur, who lost to Arantxa Rus, 62 06 64; No.11 seed Li Na, who lost to Sorana Cirstea, 63 64; and No.23 seed Petra Cetkovska, who lost to the No.1 teenager, Sloane Stephens, 76(6) 46 63.