Mon, September 13, 2010
Sports > Tennis & Golf > The US Open 2010

Clisjters dispatches Venus into second straight US Open final

2010-09-11 07:00:30 GMT2010-09-11 15:00:30 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

Kim Clijsters of Belgium serves to Venus Williams of the United States during the semifinal round of play at the U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York, Friday, Sept. 10, 2010.(Photo/AP)

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.

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