Wildcard Kim Clijsters had defeated three Top 20 players en route to the quarterfinals of the Western & Southern Financial Group Women’s Open before Russian world No.1 Dinara Safina ended the Belgian’s fairytale comeback run. Final score: 6-2 7-5.
Clijsters defeated Marion Bartoli in the first round, Patty Schnyder in the second and Svetlana Kuznetsova in the third, which were her first three matches after a more than two-year-long break, but top-seeded Safina stopped the former world No.1 Clijsters from progressing further by winning only the second time in their eight encounters.
“I really felt today that Dinara played some of her best tennis that I’ve seen,” said Clijsters, whose return after a child birth has proved to be more than promising. “I think by far that’s the best she’s ever played against me.”
Safina will next play world No.12 Flavia Pennetta, who defeated Daniela Hantuchova in the quarterfinals one day after upsetting Venus Williams. By reaching the semis, Pennetta will have the honor of becoming the first Italian Top 10 tennis player.
The other semifinal pair will feature Russian fourth seed Elena Dementieva and Serbian fifth seed Jelena Jankovic. Dementieva defeated Caroline Wozniacki 6-2 6-1, while Jankovic lost only three games in the match against Sybille Bammer, who upset Serena Williams in the previous round.