x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Kim Clijsters powers through to Australian Open final

Her opponent Vera Zvonareva wilts on the big stage again, allowing the Belgian to set up a final with Li Na.

Kim Clijsters stepped up another level to dispatch Vera Zvonareva in the Australian Open semi-final.
Kim Clijsters stepped up another level to dispatch Vera Zvonareva in the Australian Open semi-final.

MELBOURNE // Kim Clijsters wasted little time in flattening Vera Zvonareva, the No 2 seed, 6-3, 6-3 with an awesome display of power tennis to reach her second Australian Open final on Thursday.

Clijsters, the Belgian No 3 see and the 2004 Australian Open runner-up, will face Li Na in Saturday's final after overpowering her Russian opponent in just 73 minutes.

"I lifted my level compared to my other matches," Clijsters said in a courtside interview. "I've played in a lot of big matches and you learn from them.

"I just keep fighting and try to be the last one standing."

Clijsters, lime green dress and visor shimmering in the sunshine, simply had too much power for Zvonareva's comfort, the three-times grand slam champion taking the first set with a fierce drive volley.

Zvonareva's big match temperament has been questioned in the past and her fragility showed on the key points, loose shots and fluffed volleys frequently letting her down.

The second set followed a similar pattern, Clijsters chasing Zvonareva all over Rod Laver Arena and the former world No 1 completed an easy victory with a delicate drop volley.

Clijsters, who also thrashed Zvonareva 6-2, 6-1 in last year's US Open final, will replace the Russian as the world No 2 with her seventh win in their 10 meetings.