rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » Sports » Belgian Clijsters makes stunning return

Belgian Clijsters makes stunning return

Last updated on: August 11, 2009 

'I felt good out there'

     Next

Next

Kim Clijsters made a stunning return to tennis after a two-year absence when she beat world number 13 Marion Bartoli of France 6-4, 6-3 in the first round of the Cincinnati Open on Monday.

The former world number one, who gave birth to her first child in February of last year, outplayed the former Wimbledon runner-up in one hour, 22 minutes.

"To have won my first match feels really good," Clijsters said in a courtside interview. I surprised myself a little with the way I started and then I kept fighting and trying to stay focused. I felt good out there."

Bartoli had won her previous tournament in Stanford, California, but was shocked by Clijsters' early onslaught.


Image: Kim Clijsters
Photographs: Reuters
     Next

Clijsters to face Schnyder next

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

The Belgian dropped just five points as she charged to a 4-0 lead and though Bartoli hit back to level at 4-4, Clijsters broke two games later to take the opening set.

After saving two break points in the third game of the second set, Clijsters broke to lead 3-1 and held her nerve to set up a meeting with Patty Schnyder of Switzerland.


Image: Kim Clijsters

Prev     Next

Ivanovic battles into second round

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Earlier, Ana Ivanovic and Victoria Azarenka fended off tough opposition to reach the second round.

Former French Open champion Ivanovic recovered from a poor start to beat American teenager Melanie Oudin 2-6, 6-1, 6-1 while ninth seed Azarenka saw off Kaia Kanepi of Estonia 6-3, 7-6.

Azarenka, who has won three tournaments this year, has been tipped as a future world number one but the 20-year-old said she did not want to get carried away.

"It's nice that people talk about me maybe being number one at some time but I'm not really focused on that," she said. "I'm focused on improving my game and taking it step by step."


Image: Ana Ivanovic

Prev     Next

'I had lots of unforced errors'

Prev     More
Prev

More

Former world number one Ivanovic looked in danger of a shock defeat when 17-year-old Oudin, ranked 68th, ripped though the first set of their match.

The Serb had trouble with her ball toss early on but recovered her composure to storm back in the next two sets.

"I didn't start so well and I had lots of unforced errors and lots of double faults," said Ivanovic, who now plays Melinda Czink of Hungary.

"But after the first set I just tried to talk to myself and just try to convince myself I have to be aggressive and play the way I should play and not wait for mistakes."

Ukrainian qualifier Kateryna Bondarenko set up a meeting with second seed Serena Williams after she crushed Magdalena Rybarikova of Slovakia 6-2, 6-2.

World number one Dinara Safina begins her title bid on Tuesday with a second-round meeting with Roberta Vinci of Italy.


Image: Ana Ivanovic

Prev     More
Source:
© Copyright 2014 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.