Clijsters breezes past Kutuzova | sports | Hindustan Times
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Clijsters breezes past Kutuzova

sports Updated: Sep 01, 2009 01:19 IST
Hindustan Times
Kim Clijsters

Former champion Kim Clijsters reached the second round at the US Open on Monday with a 58-minute 6-1, 6-1 win over Viktoriya Kutuzova of Ukraine.

It was the Belgian’s first match at Flushing Meadows since she defeated Mary Pierce in straight sets in the 2005 final.

She was unable to defend her title the following year and then retired from the game in May 2007 to marry and have a baby, only returning to action earlier this month.

The 26-year-old former world number one, playing in the first game on the Arthur Ashe Stadium court, got off to a storming start by winning the first seven points against her opponent.

Unseeded Clijsters then edged a marathon third game on serve to open a 3-0 lead and broke again with Kutuzova serving up a double fault at 15-40 on break point.

The Ukranian finally got on the scoreboard by holding serve in the sixth game but Clijsters then easily won the next game to take the set.

Clijsters ran off eight points in a row against a demoralised opponent to smoothly move into the second round.

The win was the sixth for Clijsters against two losses since she launched her comeback and moved her forward to a potential second round clash against French 14th seed Marion Bartoli, whom she beat in straight sets in her first match back in Cincinnati.

Eighth seed Victoria Azarenka of Belarus advanced to the second round with a 6-1, 6-1 victory over Romania's Alexandra Dulgheru.

The 20-year-old right-hander will next face the winner of a later match between two qualifiers, Poland's Marta Domachowska and Czech Barbora Zahlavova Strycova. Azarenka could face US third seed Venus Williams in a quarter-final matchup.

Bhupathi-Knowles seeded third

New York: Indian Mahesh Bhupathi and Bahamian partner Mark Knowles have been seeded third while Leander Paes and Czech Lukas Dlouhy have the fourth billing in men's doubles. Bhupathi and Knowles will open against James Cerretani and Lovro Zovko, while Paes and Dlouhy will play Victor Hanescu and Gabriel Trifu in the first round.