Clijsters’ comeback keeps rolling; Serena wins in Cincinnati

August 13, 2009 07:18 AM

MASON, Ohio (AP) -- Playing her second competitive match in more than two years, Kim Clijsters reached the third round of the Cincinnati Open with a 6-2, 7-5 win over Patty Schnyder on Wednesday.

Clijsters who retired in May 2007 and gave birth to a daughter in February 2008, knocked out 12th-seeded Marion Bartoli in straight sets on Monday. The 2005 US Open champion followed up by never losing her serve against the 20th-ranked Schnyder.

“Does it look easy?” Clijsters said. “I started off playing well. It’s a really good feeling. I’m moving well. I’m very happy with the way I’m starting. It helps your confidence to get into a rhythm.”

The 26-year-old Clijsters is scheduled to meet sixth-seeded Svetlana Kuznetsova in the next round, with a possible quarterfinal match looming against top-seeded Dinara Safina. Clijsters has won six of her seven matches against Kuznetsova.

“I knew coming in that this was a big tournament,” Clijsters said. “I knew it was going to be tough from the start, and I’m glad I’m still going. Patty’s a good player. We’ve had a lot of tough matches, a lot of three-setters, so I’m glad I got out in two.”

Second-seeded Serena Williams had 14 aces, nine in the second set, on her way to a 6-3, 6-2 win over Kateryna Bondarenko.

“I’ve been working really hard on it,” said Williams, who’s won the Australian Open and Wimbledon this year. “I’m glad it’s coming through. I hope I can keep it up for the rest of the tournament and the (US) Open.”

Unseeded Melinda Czink and Sybille Bammer turned in the day’s only upsets. Czink knocked off 11th-seeded and former No. 1 Ana Ivanovic 7-6 (6), 7-5, and Bammer eliminated 13th-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska 6-0, 7-5.

Fourth-seeded Elena Dementieva also advanced with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Yanna Wickmayer as seeded players swept almost all of Tuesday’s other second-round matches at the $2 million Western and Southern Financial Group event. Only No. 7 seed Vera Zvonareva and eighth-seeded Caroline Wozniacki dropped sets. Zvonareva beat Alisa Kleybanova 6-4, 1-6, 7-5, and Wozniacki came from behind to pull out a 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 win over Aleksandra Wozniak.

Ninth-seeded Victoria Azarenka moved on with a 6-4, 6-2 win over Anna Chakvetzade, and 14th-seeded Flavia Pennetta scored a 6-2, 6-4 win over Agnes Szavay. Also advancing were Daniela Hantuchova with a 7-5, 1-6, 6-4 win over Alona Bondarenko, Peng Shuai with a 5-7, 6-2, 6-1 win over Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez, and Sorana Cirstea by knocking off Anna-Lena Groenefeld 6-3, 6-2.

Fifth-seeded Jelena Jankovic, playing her first match after first-round bye, advanced with a 7-6 (6), 6-3 win over Maria Kirilenko.

“First match for me, it’s never easy,” Jankovic said. “It takes time to get used to the conditions—to playing matches again.”