Clijsters, Baltacha win in Eastbourne

Eurosport - Wed, 16 Jun 18:11:00 2010

Belgium's Kim Clijsters was in superb form once again as she continued her impressive return from injury at WTA Eastbourne.

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The US Open champion waltzed past Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic, dropping just a single game as she won 6-1 6-0 in just 38 minutes.

Clijsters' victory came hot on the heels of her impressive first-round showing against Yanina Wickmayer, which she won 6-1 6-1.

Britain's Elena Baltacha had a huge boost by making the quarter-finals after beating China's Zheng Jie 6-2 1-6 6-3. Baltacha has been hit by fresh injury problems in recent tournaments, but she fought through a tough three-setter against the Australian Open semi-finalist to set up a clash with Sam Stosur.

Clijsters was delighted after her performance.

"It was a good one, wasn't it?," she said.

"It's a good sign, a good feeling.

"I'm playing good tennis, that's the most important thing. It's important not to be too tired. I want to keep this level.

"I've played two matches well, I want to keep that going, I want to stay mentally focused."

French Open runner-up Stosur had a tough time against Slovakia's Daniella Hantuchova before winning 6-3 3-6 6-4 in breezy conditions.

  • Clijsters and Stosur power through in Eastbourne

"Considering the conditions out there, we played a good quality match," Stosur said.

"Grass is difficult sometimes, you add the wind and everything else. It is what it is, it's good to get as many matches as possible."

Baltacha was also thrilled with her performance, and claimed that a critical hold of serve after a toilet break was the key.

"I took the toilet break, came back, and that first game was so important," she said.

"She had two or three advantages and I knew if she got that it would be it, but I managed to hold on and then break, and that completely changed the match. I just had to hold my serve and I managed to do that and it was an amazing win.

"I am very proud of myself, I knew I'd have to play my best tennis. I really respect her, so it's an unbelievable win."

There was disappointment for Britain's Heather Watson, however, as she fell in straight sets to world number 15 Victoria Azarenka. Watson never got her serve going, and the Belarus player came through 6-1 6-1 in just under an hour.

Azarenka will play Clijsters in the next round, while in the other quarter-finals Ekaterina Makarova will play Svetlana Kuznetsova and Maria Jose Martinez will face Marion Bartoli.

Reuters / Eurosport

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