Australian Open - Women: Clijsters storms through
Thu, 20 Jan 09:42:00 2011
Kim Clijsters pulverised Spain's Carla Suarez Navarro 6-1 6-3 to reach the third round of the Australian Open and underline her title credentials.
The Belgian former world number one, green dress and matching visor shimmering in the Melbourne sunshine, completed the rout in 62 minutes with a crunching forehand too hot for her 62nd-ranked opponent to handle.
Third seed Clijsters, three-times Grand Slam champion and Australian Open runner-up in 2004, had needed just 44 minutes to whitewash Russia's Dinara Safina 6-0 6-0 in the first round.
Beaten finalist in Sydney in the build-up to the year's first major, Clijsters tormented Suarez Navarro, who muttered angrily to herself and in the direction of her coach between points as she battled forlornly to turn the tide.
Clijsters looks the player mostly capable of blocking World number one Caroline Wozniacki's path to a maiden slam, although the Dane has so far kept the wolves at bay with some clinical tennis in Melbourne.
"I know if I play close to my best I can beat anybody but saying that is a lot easier than obviously doing it," the 2004 Melbourne finalist said of her own form.
"I know from the US Open that is takes a lot out of you winning seven matches. I've lost matches where I've felt that I was playing well -- anything can happen.
"I went to bed with (Roger) Federer two sets to love up last night. You never know what can happen."
Second seed Vera Zvonareva survived a scare to beat Serbia's Bojana Jovanovski 2-6 6-3 6-1 and advance.
Women: Clijsters through, Jankovic out
At one point left sobbing under her towel after some wretched play in the first set, Zvonareva blasted her way back helped in no small part by 48 unforced errors from Jovanovski.
Zvonareva, beaten finalist at last year's Wimbledon and US Open majors, was her own worst enemy at times, putting in just 58 per cent of her first serves.
However, the 10-times WTA tour titlist ultimately had too much power for 58th-ranked opponent, who appeared to freeze after taking a surprise one-set lead.
"You don't have these days every day, so you've got to enjoy them when they come," said the fifth seed.
Fifth seed Stosur crushed unseeded Russian Vera Dushevina 6-3 6-2 in 80 minutes.
"Everything seemed to be coming out of the centre and I felt like I moved well, made good decisions," Stosur said.
The seventh seeded Serbian, who arrived in Melbourne on a six-match losing streak going back to last season, was the first top 10 seed from either draw to be knocked out of the year's first Grand Slam.
"I have a bad selection of shots at the wrong times," said the 25-year-old Jankovic, a semi-finalist here in 2008. "I couldn't afford to make the errors that I made, especially at crucial times of the match.
"I mean, as a top player - I've been number one in the world - it's tough to sometimes accept those mistakes. Really at times I couldn't believe I can do that, why am I doing that?"
Jankovic, who made 39 unforced errors in the match, blew a 4-1 lead in the first set before wresting a third service break from her 54th-ranked opponent to force a tiebreak, which she lost 7-3.
Peng broke for a 4-2 lead in the second and served out for victory three games later, dancing around the Hisense Arena court with a huge smile on her face.
Peng will next face Japan's Ayumi Morita, who beat Caroline Garcia 6-4 6-4.
Kirilenko was quickly followed out of the tournament by compatriot Alisa Kleybanova, seeded 24th, who was stunned 6-4 7-6 by unheralded Romanian Simona Halep and 26th seed Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez also departed after a 7-5 6-1 loss Frenchwoman Alize Cornet.
Other Results: 10-Shahar Peer (Israel) beat Sorana Cirstea (Romania) 6-3 6-2; 12-Agnieszka Radwanska (Poland) beat Petra Martic (Croatia) 6-3 6-4; 13-Nadia Petrova (Russia) beat Alicia Molik (Australia) 6-4 6-1; 16-Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (Russia) beat Kristina Barrois (Germany) 6-2 6-2; 22-Flavia Pennetta (Italy) beat Lourdes Dominguez Lino (Spain) 6-2 6-2; 31-Lucie Safarova (Czech Republic) beat Klara Zakopalova (Czech Republic) 6-3 6-7(2) 7-5; Ekaterina Makarova (Russia) beat Lesya Tsurenko (Ukraine) 7-6(6) 6-1Reuters