Tennis

Clijsters back from the brink

2012-01-03 16:17
Kim Clijsters (File)

Brisbane - Four-time Grand Slam winner Kim Clijsters fought back from the brink of defeat to overcome Ana Ivanovic 6-1, 1-6, 6-3 in the second round of the Brisbane International on Tuesday.

In a match of contrasting fortunes, Clijsters stormed through the first set in imperious fashion, only to quickly surrender the second and find herself 3-0 down in the decider and facing a break point for 4-0.

But the Belgian picked herself up and fought her way back into the match, winning the next six games against an increasingly demoralised Ivanovic to maintain her perfect record against the Serbian former world No 1.

"I knew that if I could just give myself the opportunity to get back into the match I had to not give her anything for free," Clijsters said.

"If I could make her go for her winners and dictate the points then maybe there was a chance... she would start to make a few more unforced errors.

"Her serve wasn't quite as good as it had been in the second set and up until the middle of the third.

"I was able to get a better look at her second serve and dictate the point from there and try and be more aggressive to her backhand."

Second seeded German Andrea Petkovic moved into the quarter-finals with a 7-6 (7/2), 6-0 win over Czech Barbora Zahlavova Strycova.

Runner-up to Petra Kvitova last year, Petkovic has jumped 20 places in the world rankings over the past 12 months to reach No 10 and said she wanted to consolidate in 2012.

"This is really a year for me to see if I can keep up with the higher expectations and if I can still improve my game and sort of just stay level headed and focus on myself," she said.

"I’m trying to change up my paces a little bit and trying to get into the net more.

"I think I have to change those things if I want to be able to win the big titles."

She remains on course for a possible semi-final against third seed Francesca Schiavone, who beat Kazakhstan's Galina Voskoboeva 6-4, 6-4.

Slovakia's Daniela Hantuchova ended the run of American qualifier Vania King with a 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 victory.

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