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Rediff News  All News  » Sports » Clijsters, Henin to clash in Brisbane final

Clijsters, Henin to clash in Brisbane final

January 08, 2010 14:01 IST

Justine Henin and Kim Clijsters steamrolled their semi-final opponents on Friday to set up a tantalising all-Belgian final at the Brisbane International.

Henin, playing her first tournament in 20 months after coming out of retirement, crushed Serbia's Ana Ivanovic 6-3, 6-2 in a little over then hour.

Then Clijsters, who won last year's US Open after making her own fairytale comeback, demolished Germany's Andrea Petkovic 6-4, 6-2 in an ominous sign of her intentions for this month's Australian Open.

The former Fed Cup team mates have already played other 22 times before, with Henin holding a 12-10 advantage, but Saturday's final will be their first clash since the 2006 Wimbledon semi-finals.

"It is always special to play Kim," Henin told reporters.

"It is always going to be a good match, a challenge, a tough match."

Henin surprised even herself as she defeated Ivanovic in a surprisingly lop-sided match on the Pat Rafter centre court.

Playing her fourth match in five days, the super-fit Henin showed no signs of weariness as she provided a glimpse of the form that saw her win seven Grand Slam titles.

"I didn't know what to expect with ups and downs this week," she said.

"I need a few more months to really be at my top. I have to remember it's my first tournament back."

Clijsters looked to be in for a tough afternoon after she was locked at 4-4 with Petkovic in the opening set but reeled off the next six games to seize control of the match.

In the men's event, Czech Tomas Berdych edged past Brazil's Thomaz Bellucci 7-6, 2-6, 7-6 to join defending champion Radek Stepanek and Gael Monfils in Saturday's semi-finals.

Top seed Andy Roddick plays Frenchman Richard Gasquet in Friday's last quarter-final.

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