MELBOURNE PARK, Australia – Â Belgiumâ€™s Kim Clijsters not only dismissed top seed Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark out of the Australian Open but knocked her out of her No.1 ranking on Tuesday. Clijsters beat Wozniacki 6-3, 7-6(4) in far less dramatic fashion than her fourth round match against Li Na on Sunday where she rallied from four match points down.
Clijsters looked no worse for wear from the ankle injury she suffered in the her fourth round match. She consistently dominated from the baseline focusing on hitting to Wozniackiâ€™s weaker side, the forehand.
â€œWell, I thought Kim started off really strong,â€ said Wozniacki. â€œShe put the pressure on me from the beginning.
â€œI made a few unforced errors that she ran away a bit in the first set.Â But I hung in there and I kept fighting.Â I did what I could, but today it wasn’t enough.â€
â€œI was happy with the way that I was playing,â€ said Clijsters. â€œI just had to try to be a little bit more dominant again.Â You know, she stepped her game up and started serving better in that second set.
â€œSo I knew thatÂ â€‘â€‘ you know, I mean, we both played a really good tiebreaker.Â I mean, no unforced errors.Â We really went for our shots and good serving and good returning.
â€œSo I think it was, yeah, it was, you know, important to just stay focused one point at a time and to really, you know, whenever you felt like you could go for that winner, just try to do that.â€
Clijsters seemed in control in the second set taking a 5-2 lead when she dropped three straight games. In the tiebreak Ciljsters won four straight points from 3-4 down to take the tiebreak with the match.
â€œI was happy to get through and not to go to a three-setter, because itâ€™s so hot,â€ said Clijsters.
Wozniacki was asked about losing her No. 1 ranking,â€to be honest, I don’t really think about it.Â I have been there for a long time already.Â I finished No. 1 two years in a row.â€
â€œIn the end of the year we will see who played the best, Wozniacki said.Â â€œWe are just in January.Â In the end of the year you see who has played the best, most consistently all yearâ€‘round.
â€œSo, you know, I will get it back eventually, so I’m not worried.â€
Clijsters will face third seed Victoria Azarenka who defeated Agnieszka Radwanska, for a spot in the Womenâ€™s final.
Cjisters thoughts on playing Azarenka,â€œTough player.Â Tough match.Â She’s playing extremely well, playing with a lot of confidence, and, you know, she’s gonna be a completely different match than what I was up against today.Â Takes a lot more initiative.
â€œYou know, hits a lot down the middle of the court, deep, hard.
â€œSo it’s gonna be very important to be dominant.Â You know, she’s improved a lot on her fitness and her movement, which was definitely a weakness in the past.Â She’s worked on that, so she’s becoming a more and more complete player.
â€œSo it will be tough.Â I’ll have to play some of my best tennis to try and beat herâ€
Karen Pestaina for Tennis Panorama News