Kim Clijsters ended the one plus year nightmare that has been Caroline Wozniacki’s reign atop the WTA Rankings. The defending champion Clijsters shrugged off a left ankle injury to take down Wozniacki 6-3 ,7-6 in the quarterfinals Tuesday at the Australian Open.
The loss means Wozniacki ends her 67 weeks as No. 1 on Monday as both Victoria Azarenka and Petra Kvitova will move ahead of the Dane, with Maria Sharapova a possibility as well when the new rankings are released.
It’s also another Slam without a title for Caroline who remains hopeful that one day she’ll be victorious.
“I start laughing every time because the media talks to me like I’m finishing my career and I only have one year left and time is running out,” Wozniacki said. “The fact is I still have quite a few good years in front of me. I still improve. I still have a number of Australians and a number of US Opens and Wimbledons and French Opens left. I will definitely do my best and try to win one or even more. In the end of the day, you can just do your best. You can’t do anything more than that.”
Clijsters is no stranger to success in Grand Slam play especially in Melbourne.
“I was happy with the way that I was playing,” Clijsters said following her 11th straight Australian Open win. “I just had to try to be a little bit more dominant again. You know, she stepped her game up and started serving better in that second set.”
There was doubt Clijsters would even play today, but the rehab paid off.
“Laying on the couch, every 20 minutes ice, 20 minutes off, 20 minutes ice, 20 minutes off. Leg elevated. Lymphatic drainage, all that stuff,” she said. “So, yeah, I had a light hit yesterday without really sidewards movement, just try to get a feel for the ball, and then back to the icing and all that same routine all over again.”
Clijsters will take a 4-2 head-to-head record Thursday afternoon against Victoria Azarenka. The Bela-Russian lost the opening set tiebreak 7-0 before turning the match around to beat Agnieszka Radwanska 6-7, 6-0, 6-2 to advance to her second career Grand Slam semifinal.
“Well, I’m really happy with my win,” Azarenka said. “You know, I think it was very important to see how I could adjust after not playing really well in the first set. I completely turned it around, so I’m really, really happy about that.”
Azarena failed to reach a Slam semifinal and win a quarter for a fifth time.
On Wednesday, the bottom half semifinals will be contested featuring Petra Kvitova against Italian surprise Sara Errani in a first-time meeting. Then former champion Maria Sharapova meets giant killer Ekatarina Makarova. Sharapova beat her Russian countrywoman twice on clay last year.
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