Clijsters beats Henin again to meet Venus
Kim Clijsters won a dramatic semi-final battle of the Belgians against Justin Henin after a thrilling third set tiebreak to reach the final of the Sony Ericsson Open on Thursday.Updated: Apr 02, 2010, 10:52 IST
Kim Clijsters won a dramatic semi-final battle of the Belgians against Justin Henin after a thrilling third set tiebreak to reach the final of the Sony Ericsson Open on Thursday.
The 6-2 6-7 7-6 victory means Clijsters will play for a 37th career title on Saturday against Venus Williams, who earlier cruised to a comfortable 6-3 6-4 win over France's Marion Bartoli.
Clijsters dominated the opening set of her encounter with Henin but then lost out in a tiebreak in the second to allow the game into a decisive third set.
Neither of the two former world number ones, who have both made comebacks to the game, were able to dominate with their serve and Clijsters produced a double fault when serving for the match.
Although she went 2-0 down in the tiebreak, Clijsters roared back to take a 6-3 lead but once again Henin refused to roll over.
She won the next three points to get to 6-6 but then Clijsters produced two great shots to win the game -- a volley close to the net and then a forehand across the court to win.
Clijsters also won by a tiebreak the last time the pair last met in the final of the Brisbane Open.
The tall blonde will now take on a confident Williams, whose victory over Bartoli was watched from the stands by her injured sister Serena.
Wearing a red 'corset-style' outfit in the bright sunshine, the seven-times grand slam winner was not at her sharpest but still proved too good for out-of-sorts 13th seed Bartoli.
The American broke serve straight away in a first set containing plenty of errors from both players.
After her opponent broke back, Williams responded with a second break thanks to three double-faults.
Bartoli then looked poised for a second-set comeback after breaking to go 3-1 up but Williams broke back immediately with a spectacular cross-court forehand volley and then broke again to clinch victory.
Venus has won the event three times but her last appearance in the final came nine years ago, when she beat Jennifer Capriati.
"I'm really happy to be back in this final and obviously I want to take it a step further," she said.