Kim Clijsters thrilled a vocal US Open crowd at she continued her Grand Slam return debut in Flushing on Wednesday, coming from behind to defeat Marion Bartoli 5-7, 6-1, 6-2 and move into the third round.
“I felt she was really dominating all the points just because she was stepping in and taking the risks early on. It was working. She was serving well,” said Clijsters on Bartoli, who looked to injure her thigh in the second set and called the trainer. “I think a few things that were really going well for her. My forehand wasn’t really going the way I wanted to…But then I think it was a smart move to just really mix it up a little bit in the beginning of that second set, throw some high balls in there. Just to mix it up a little bit for her, because she loves stepping in and dictating the points.”
Venus Williams also advanced by ending points quickly against Bethanie Mattek-Sands, defeating her fellow American 6-4, 6-2. Venus said she had been treating her knee injury since her last match on Monday.
“Pretty much ice every hour, a lot of different treatments, also,” the elder Williams sister said. “But I just had to be really, really aggressive, and I really did everything I could.”
The diplomatic Venus would not be baited by the media into railing on Russian Dinara Safina being ranked No. 1, even if her sister Serena wins the US Open.
“My thought’s that if you play consistent, you can be very highly ranked,” Venus said. “I guess it’s all about playing consistent these days. She’s played very consistently, and kudos to her and credit to her for being able to hold onto that No. 1 ranking and playing so well.”
Canadian Aleksandra Wozniack was a surprisingly easy winner over former No. 1 Amelie Mauresmo, bageling the retiring-contemplating Frenchwoman in the second set 6-4, 6-0.
“Definitely was exciting to play on Arthur Ashe stadium,” Wozniack said. “I think I was really trying to focus, you know, and not get distracted by the crowd or anything. I think I did pretty well staying composed. I think I did a pretty good job with everything and I played well.”
Other Top 10-seeded winners were (2) Serena Williams rolling Melinda Czink 6-1, 6-1; (7) Vera Zvonareva outlasting felow Russian Anna Chakvetadze 3-6, 6-1, 6-1; (8) Victoria Azarenka rolling Czech qualifier Barbora Zahlavova Strycova 6-2, 6-1; and (10) Flavia Pennetta decimating Indian princess Sania Mirza 6-0, 6-0.
Other notable winners on the day were unseeded Russian Maria Kirilenko ousting (12) Agnieszka Radwanska, American (WC) Vania King upsetting (15) Samantha Stosur, and Belgian Kirsten Flipkens topping (20) Anabel Medina Garrigues.
Thursday’s highlights include (4) Elena Dementieva vs. American Melanie Oudin, American junior Christina McHale vs. (29) Maria Sharapova, (1) Dinara Safina vs. German Kristina Barrois, an all-looker in (30) Alona Bondarenko vs. Gisela Dulko, (21) Jie Zheng vs. Alize Cornet, and Kateryna Bondarenko vs. American Shenay Perry.
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