Tonight, for a set and a half, qualifier Bethanie Mattek Sands threw everything she had--and she had a lot--at 5th seed Kim Clijsters in the second round of Rogers Cup play. Mattek-Sands looked like she was putting on a clinic on how to beat the sometimes error-prone Clijsters, using serve-and-volley and all of her other doubles skills to overtake the Cincinnati champion. Mattek-Sands won the first set 6-4 and went up 3-0--saving two break points to do it--in the second.
It was when Clijsters served at 1-4 in the second set that things started going wrong for Mattek-Sands. She had two break points, and had she converted either of them, she would have gone up 5-1. But Clijsters saved them both, and from that point on, the match turned around. The Mattek-Sands serve, which was beautiful for the first half of the match, began to fade. At 4-2, Mattek-Sands was broken at love, and Clijsters went on to win the set 6-4.
The 5th seed went up 2-0 right away, but then Mattek-Sands found a way to break back. Clijsters was on a roll by this time, though, and she broke Mattek-Sands again--and then again--to take the third set 6-3. Her opponent was so close--and yet ultimately so far--from pulling off a huge upset. It was an enjoyable match, however, and one which kept spectators enthralled for almost two hours and fifteen minutes.
Lucky loser Patty Schnyder provided spectators with a lot of entertaining tennis, too, but was not quite consistent enough to get past 2nd seed Caroline Wozniacki, who defeated her 7-5, 7-5. Agnes Szavay upset 13th seed Yanina Wickmayer, and Dinara Safina upset 18th seed Nadia Petrova, who hit fifteen aces.
In second round doubles play, Wimbledon champions and 4th seeds Vania King and Yaroslava Shvedova were knocked out by Monica Niculescu and Shahar Peer.
I liked the way Mattek-Sands was playing against Clijsters. She seemed really in command at some times. Clijsters seems to be pulling herself together, focusing and coming back as she did with Sharapova. This is an improvement over many tournaments in the last year.
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