Clijsters in semis, Venus falls

WARSAW: Top-seeded Kim Clijsters beat Italy's Francesca Schiavone 6-4, 6-4 yesterday to advance to the semi-finals of the clay court Warsaw Cup.  

In another quarter-final match, seventh seed Venus Williams of the US failed to get past Svetlana Kuznetsova. The Russian, who is the fourth seed, won 6-4, 6-2. 

“I felt pretty good out there today,'' Clijsters said.  

“I did exactly what I had to do, and that was be aggressive, try not to let her play the game that she loves to play, and that is move her opponent around, mix the game up with slices and high balls.'' 

Clijsters, second in the world rankings, rallied from a break down early in the first set to make it 3-3. Schiavone then hit a smash into the net to give her opponent a crucial second break. 

The second set followed a similar pattern, with the Belgian trailing a break early before getting back on serve. 

At 4-4, Schiavone missed another smash to hand Clijsters a break point.  

The Belgian took advantage with a forehand that clipped the net and fell in, leaving her to serve out the match. 

Schiavone admitted she had lapses in concentration. 

“I was playing one point on, two points off, and if you want to beat Kim, you have to play every point consistently,'' Schiavone said. 

In other quarter-final action, Russia's Elena Dementieva dropped the first set against Polish teenager Agnieszka Radwanska before cruising to a 5-7, 6-3, 6-1 win.  

Dementieva, ranked ninth in the world, broke Radwanska twice to open the second set and wore down the 17-year-old Pole, mixing up her game with powerful ground strokes and well-placed drop shots. 

Anna Chakvetadze of Russia also advance beating Ana Ivanovic of Serbia-Montenegro 4-6, 6-2, 6-4. 

  • ESTORIL (Portugal):
  • Carlos Moya and girlfriend Flavia Pennetta each stand two wins away from a love title double at the Estoril Open after the pair surpassed their quarter-final challenges yesterday. 

    Pennetta, the women's top seed, got past Greek Eleni Daniilidou 6-2, 5-7, 6-3. 

    The Italian is aiming to finally win a trophy in 2006 after coming up short in three finals, including failed successive wins on clay in Bogota and Acapulco. 

    She will face Jie Zheng in the semis, the Chinese defeated Czech Zuzana Ondraskova 6-1, 6-3. 

    Another Chinese, Na Li, surged into the last four for a second straight year as she upset Argentine second seed Gisela Dulko 6-3, 6-1. 

    After defeating the number two at the Estadio Nacional, the 24-year-old ranked 70 in the world, will now face former champion Emilie Loit, the seventh-seeded Frenchwoman, who defeated Spain's third seed Lourdes Dominguez Lino 6-4, 2-6, 6-2. 

    Moya, who lifted the trophy in 2000 beat Spanish compatriot Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 7-6 (7-4), 6-4. 

    "We almost won a tournament together in Acapulco two years ago," said Moya, 29 and seeded sixth. "I won the men's event and she lost her final. 

    "Hopefully we have a chance to do it again here." – Agencies  

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