Clijsters and Williams on collision course
Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:46
Third seed Williams, the 2000 and 2001 champion, overcame a troublesome left knee to book her place in the third round with a battling straight-sets win over fellow American Bethanie Mattek-Sands.
Belgium’s Clijsters, playing for the first time in New York since winning the women’s singles title in 2005, having retired to start a family the following year, continued to show she is a dangerous wild card entry as she knocked out 14th seed Marion Bartoli of France.
Williams, playing with a well-strapped left knee, saw off the world number 124, 6-4 6-2 in 91 minutes.
Williams, who will next play world number 46 Magdalena Rybarikova of Slovakia, a three-set winner over Chang Kai-Chen of Chinese Taipei, was pleased to have bought herself extra time to get her knee in order.
She said: “Wear and tear puts a lot on your body. It’s September now and I started in December so I guess it’s not a surprise that at this time of year things start to get a little sore and start to hurt.”
The Belgian former world number one went a set down against Bartoli and then cruised to victory 5-7 6-1 6-2 at Louis Armstrong Stadium, the second time in a month she has beaten the Frenchwoman since returning to competitive action in August.
Clijsters said: “It was a nice feeling to have in Cincinnati, Toronto, knowing that I was capable of beating some of those top 10 players again.
“But I haven’t played the big ones yet, Venus, Serena (Williams), (Maria) Sharapova, (Elena) Dementieva.
“Hopefully I’ll give myself a shot at doing that here but first, the third round.”