Sunday, September 6, 2009

All you need is love

Why wouldn't there be two love sets in the U.S. Open round of 16 match featuring former champions Venus Williams and Kim Clijsters? This U.S. Open is so crazy, nothing should suprise us at this point. The only thing that surprised me a little was that the third set did not go to a tiebreak, which would have made the scoreline even more bizarre.

The first set was the Kim Clijsters Show. Clijsters, who received a wild card into the tournament, used the pace of Venus Williams' serves to hit the kind of blistering groundstrokes for which she was famous in her original tour career. Nothing much seemed to bother her, and she also dominated with her serve. Williams did not win one game. But in the second set, Williams made a few changes in her serve, and Clisters' level dropped. Though no one could have guessed it, within a short period of time, Williams also won a set at love.

Then the match began. There were some stunning rallies, many of them lasting a long time and played in the wind. Clisters went up an early break for a 3-1 lead, and improved her chances by making a few strategic trips to the net. Serving for the match at 5-4, she went down 0-30, and anyone who had watched the entire match probably expected a break to occur. But Clijsters began to hit deep again, and eventually won the match with an ace.

Clijsters' 6-0, 0-6, 6-4 victory puts her into the quarterfinals against Li Na, who--like the Belgian--has a huge forehand. Li defeated Francesca Schiavone earlier today, running the Italian all over the court, and winning in straight sets.

And, just like old times, there are still two Belgians in the draw: Tomorrow, Yanina Wickmayer will play her round of 16 match against Petra Kvitova, who upset top seed Dinara Safina last night.

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