Marathon man Isner knocked out as Clijsters marches on | sports | Hindustan Times
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Marathon man Isner knocked out as Clijsters marches on

It was all for nothing: marathon man John Isner was knocked out of Wimbledon in straight sets on Friday, having played the longest-ever match, as Kim Clijsters booked her place in the fourth round.

sports Updated: Jun 26, 2010 01:54 IST

Kim Clijsters insists she now has a good relationship with Justine Henin after booking a Wimbledon fourth round meeting with her old rival.

Clijsters powered into the last 16 here with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Russia’s Maria Kirilenko on Friday and will face Henin at the start of next week in one of the most intriguing ties of this year’s tournament.

Despite emerging from the same country at much the same time, there was little empathy between the two Belgians for much of their careers. he fierce nature of their rivalry occasionally spilled over into verbal spats and friendship seemed a distant prospect.

All that has changed now according to eighth seed Clijsters as both players have mellowed after several years away from the game.

The passing of time, and the maturity that comes with it, has helped to heal their fractious relationship and Clijsters admits they are now much more comfortable together when their paths cross.“I think we’ve definitely grown up,” she said.

“We’ve had great times together playing Fed Cup and just messaging each other on phones, teasing each other. “It’s fun and relaxed. I think that’s how I would have liked it to have always been.”

The pair have 12 wins each from their 24 meetings, but Clijsters, 27, should be confident of progressing.

She has beaten Henin twice already this year and is yet to drop a set in her first three matches back at the All England Club after a four-year absence following a premature decision, as it turned out, to retire. Publicly at least, Clijsters insists the match will be too close to call, but she is looking forward to another intense match with Henin, albeit with a friendlier dimension these days.

“It could go either way. I think that just shows in the results we’ve had against each other,” she said. “The ones against Justine this year, in Brisbane and Miami, they were very intense.”

Mahesh-Mirnyi advance

Fourth seeds Mahesh Bhupathi and Max Mirnyi beat Jamie Delgado and Joshua Goodall in straight sets 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 to reach the third round.

Jankovic beats Bondarenko

Jelena Jankovic has moved into the fourth round at Wimbledon with a 6-0, 6-3 win over Alona Bondarenko. The 4th-seeded Jankovic had 20 winners on Friday, four times as many as her 28th-seeded opponent from Ukraine.

Jankovic, of Serbia, next plays the winner of a match between 15th-seeded Yanina Wickmayer and 21st-seeded Vera Zvonareva of Russia. Jankovic reached the semifinals at the French Open, and lost in the third round of Wimbledon last year.

Djokovic surges into fourth round

Serbian third seed Novak Djokovic surged into the fourth round at Wimbledon with a 6-1, 6-4, 6-4 victory against Spain’s Albert Montanes on Friday.

While fans and officials were seen grabbing programmes and any scraps of paper to fan themselves on a sun-baked Court Two, Jankovic had no problem turning up the heat on Bondarenko who succumbed to her 11th defeat in 12 meetings with the Serb.

Isner loses quickly in 2nd round

One day after winning the longest tennis match in history, John Isner lost the shortest men’s match so far at this year’s Wimbledon.