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There’s no stopping confident Kim

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Originally published on: 25/01/11 00:24

Kim Clijsters took just under 90 minutes to end Ekaterina Makaraova’s career-best Grand Slam run at the Australian Open late last night to edge closer to her first final in Melbourne since 2004.

Makarova had beaten Ana Ivanovic and Nadia Petrova en route to the fourth round in Melbourne – eclipsing the third round best she managed at the US Open in 2008 – but Clijsters quashed any chance of another upset with a 7-6(3) 6-2 triumph.

And after the Belgian No.3 won her fourth consecutive match at Melbourne Park without dropping a set, the three-time US Open champ admitted that beating players like Makarova – who she has never before faced – had left her in good stead to win the Daphne Akhurst Trophy for the first time.

“I’m happy. I mean, it’s been tough,” said the world No.3. “I felt in these last few matches, I always played players that I kind of never played against. It was always a little bit hard to kind of find that rhythm. They were definitely players with a different type of tennis, different type of style.”

Clijsters, who didn’t reach her top level during her third round victory over Frenchwoman Alize Cornet, added:

“Tonight’s match was definitely a lot better. I definitely felt a big improvement compared to my previous match.”

In her sixth quarter-final appearance in Melbourne, the Bree-born right-hander faces Agnieszka Radwanska, who has lost all three of the Grand Slam quarter-finals she has participated in (in Melbourne in 2008 and Wimbledon in 2008 and 2009), on Wednesday.

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