NEW YORK, Sept. 10 (Xinhua) -- Kim Clijsters rallied from one set down to overcome two-time champion Venus Williams, advancing to her second straight US Open final on Friday.
Clijsters won her 20th straight match at the U.S. Open, the second-longest streak in the championship. The Belgian survived a tense, two-hour, 23-minute semifinal, outlasting Williams 4-6, 7-6 (7-2), 6-4.
Clijsters will play in Saturday's championship match against Russian seventh seed Vera Zvonareva, the Wimbledon runner-up seeking her first Grand Slam title as she knocked out Danish top seed Caroline Wozniacki 6-4, 6-3 in the other semifinal.
"This is what I was trying to achieve in coming back," Clijsters said. "It wasn't always easy but I'm glad I stuck through it and could enjoy these moments."
Clijsters, who last year became the first mother since 1980 to win a Slam crown, is trying to become the first back-to-back US Open women's champion since Venus Williams in 2001.
"I just tried to make the points and when I felt I had an opportunity to step up and accelerate I tried to take advantage," added she.
The wind again swirled Flushing Meadows. Service tosses wandered off, lobs took left turns and seemingly well-struck forehands carried long. Williams attacked Clijsters most of the match and swatted numerous winning overheads and volleys.
Williams hit a forehand winner to seize the first break point of the match and took it for a 4-3 lead when Clijsters netted a drop shot. She held serve twice more to win the first set.
Clijsters answered by breaking Williams for a 2-0 lead in the second set, prompting Williams to move closer to the baseline and become more aggressive in her first Slam semifinal since last year at Wimbledon.
The Belgian saved a break point in the fifth game with a backhand volley, but Williams forced another and hit a forehand smash to break back.
Williams saved two break points in the sixth game with overhead smashes but hit a forehand wide on the Belgian's third chance, giving Clijsters a 4-2 edge. She held to 5-3 and served for the set but Williams broke back in five points and they battled into a tie-breaker.
Williams double faulted twice in the tie break, notching just two points through a net-cord rolling and an unforced error from Clijsters, shotting long.
Clijsters broke Williams' serve to take a 2-1 tiebreak lead. Serving with the 4-3 advantage, Clijsters double-faulted twice and then missed an open-court forehand long to even the match.
She then reclaimed the advantage at 5-4, breaking Williams' serve with a topspin lob that narrowly landed inside the baseline. The match-winning shot was a backhand winner.
Zvonareva, 26, hasn't dropped a set in the tournament. Clijsters leads their head-to-head series 5-2, though Zvonareva won both of their meetings this year, in the quarterfinals of Wimbledon on grass and in the same round of a hard-court tournament in Montreal.