LONDON – Russia's Vera Zvonareva is through to the semi-finals at Wimbledon for the first time after recording a 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 win over eighth seed Kim Clijsters here on Tuesday.
Zvonareva, seeded 21st, came back from a set down to beat Clijsters for the first time in six attempts and advance to her second grand slam semi-final, after last year's efforts at the Australian Open.
The 25-year-old will face Bulgaria's Tsvetana Pironkova, who provided the shock of the women's singles this year by knocking out five-time champion Venus Williams.
Clijsters, the reigning US Open champion, fell to pieces in the last two sets after starting well.
She had broken Zvonareva's serve in the eighth game of the match and was able to comfortably close out the set.
Zvonareva, not known for her prowess on grass, refused to be put off by that early setback and took the second set as errors crept into Clijsters' game.
Clijsters was broken in the fourth game of the second set, and again in the tenth, which left the match level at one-set all and the Russian clearly playing the better of the two.
Zvonareva went for the kill and broke Clijsters in the fourth game of the final set before serving out the match to deny Clijsters a fairytale comeback at Wimbledon.
This was Clijsters' first appearance at the Championships since 2006 and the Belgian had been confident of improving on her best performance here when she reached the last four in four years ago and in 2003.