Wildcard Kim Clijsters is still doing impressively well in her comeback after a two-year-long break and a child birth, scoring her third Top 20 victory in three matches she played since returning to competitive tennis at the Western and Southern Financial Group Women’s Open. Third seed Venus Williams fell to No.14 seed Flavia Pennetta in the third round.
Clijsters started her third-round match with a 4-1 lead, and even though sixth seed Svetlana Kuznetsova leveled at 4-4, the Belgian won the set 6-4. We can safely say that Kuznetsova was saved by the challenge system in the second set. Clijsters was leading 3-0, and then 4-3, and just when we thought she broke Kuznetsova for 5-3, the Hawk-eye system said Kuznetsova’s ball was in and in the end she leveled at 4-4 to eventually win the set. Still, Clijsters triumphed in the decider to defeat the sixth-ranked Russian, after victories over No.13 Marion Bartoli and No.20 Patty Schnyder.
No.14 seed Pennetta defeated third seed Venus Williams 7-6(2) 6-4 and extended her winning streak to 14 matches. The Italian won back-to-back titles in Palermo and Los Angeles, and has now reached the quarterfinals of Cincinnati.
Clijsters might face world No.1 Dinara Safina in the quarterfinals, while Pennetta, who is now 4-3 against Williams, will next play Daniela Hantuchova, the winner over seventh seed Vera Zvonareva in the third round.
Additional info: The Sony Ericsson WTA Tour made this nice video clip dedicated to Kim Clijsters’ comeback.