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Clijsters sets up Venus showdown

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Originally published on: 08/09/10 09:57

Although eagerly anticipating her semi-final clash with Venus Williams, second seed Kim Clijsters will have to improve on an error-strewn display against Sam Stosur if she is to make her third US Open final.

Clijsters was sorely out of form for much of her 6-4 5-7 6-3 win over the fifth-seeded Aussie on Arthur Ashe court, but found just enough composure to emerge victorious for her 19th consecutive match win at Flushing Meadows.

There were 15 breaks of serve in a match littered with errors from both players but as the game reached its climax, the Belgian finally found some form to hold off her Australian opponent, who should have cashed in on Clijsters’ sluggish opening.

Third seed Williams found the going slightly easier, defeating French Open champ Fransesca Schiavona 7-6 (7-5) 6-4.

“Venus is a great competitor and she’s playing some great tennis,” said Clijsters of her semi-final opponent. “She’s American too and that will be a fun match to play. I’ve had some great matches against Venus and Serena, it’ll be a great challenge and I’m excited to be in another semi.”

Not quite her formidable best, Venus needed a tie-break to take the opening set against sixth seed and French Open champion Schiavone.

A service break put her 4-1 up in the second but although Schiavone returned gutsily to get back in contention, Williams broke again to seal the win.

“When I walked out there, I couldn’t even warm up my serve because the wind was blowing my toss,” said the seven-time Grand Slam champ afterwards.

“I thought ‘Oh, my god, what are we in for?’ I’m a strong player and I hit hard, but I felt like I had nothing.

“It was challenging,” she added. “I don’t think either of us were able to play our exact normal game because it was just hard to make a choice in the wind. I think you end up playing a little safer, more toward the centre of the court.”

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