Clijsters continues to impress

Second seed Kim Clijsters breezed into her sixth consecutive Grand Slam quarter-final with another comfortable straight sets victory at the Australian Open today.

Second seed Kim Clijsters breezed into her sixth consecutive Grand Slam quarter-final with another comfortable straight sets victory at the Australian Open today.

Clijsters, who is yet to drop a set in the tournament, will meet Anastasia Myskina in a repeat of last year’s quarter-final after beating Italian Silvia Farina Elia 6-3 6-3.

Myskina, the ninth-seeded Russian, overcame American Chanda Rubin in a carbon copy of last year’s fourth-round meeting between the two.

Myskina recovered from a poor start and a misfiring serve to battle past the American 6-7 (3/7) 6-2 6-2 but spent most of the match making frustrated comments in the direction of her coach Jens Gerlach.

She made just 28% of her first serves in a nervous opening set and Rubin capitalised to take the tiebreak, but Myskina then raced into a 4-0 lead and levelled the match before closing out the win with two more breaks to book another meeting with Clijsters.

Last year, the Belgian prevailed in their quarter-final meeting and is in similarly dominant form this year, having conceded just 14 games in four matches.

It took her 73 minutes to brush aside Farina Elia, the 20th seed, in her toughest match so far but she did so with a barrage of ferocious ground-strokes.

“I have had some tough matches against Silvia. She’s the kind of player who doesn’t give you a lot of space,” said Clijsters.

“I felt like I was hitting the ball well and moving her from side to side. With her slice and everything, she kept the ball really low, which made it tough for me to hit a lot of winners.

“I felt like this was good. I had to move well, move around a lot and I really enjoyed it.”

French schoolgirl Tatiana Golovin’s dream run came to an end today at the hands of American Lisa Raymond.

Golovin, who only turned 16 yesterday, had reached the fourth round with victories over seeds Anna Smashnova-Pistolese and Lina Krasnoroutskaya but repeating the trick over Raymond proved a step too far.

The former doubles world number one followed up her shock victory over Venus Williams in the last round and cruised into the quarter-finals 6-2 6-0 in just 42 minutes.

Raymond’s win booked only her second Grand Slam quarter-final appearance, matching her achievement at Wimbledon in 2000.

“It would have been pretty easy for me to have the letdown after playing so well against Venus,” she said.

“I’ve had very mixed results in Slams throughout my career. I’ve never really peaked at Slams. To be able to play as well as I have here feels great. Hopefully I’ve got a couple more rounds of tennis in me.”

Golovin was given a wild card under a reciprocal arrangement between organisers of the Australian and French Opens.

“My goal was to get one or two rounds, so it’s great I lost in the fourth,” she said.

“I’m a little disappointed in my match. I wasn’t moving very well and I had to play my best tennis against her if I wanted to win, and it didn’t really happen.”

Raymond will play Patty Schnyder, who reached the quarter-final of a Grand Slam for the first time since 1997 with a straight 6-2 6-4 win over Nathalie Dechy.

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