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04 December 2023

Smashing Clijsters sparkles Down Under

While Petrova said Henin would emerge the winner if the two met in the final, Molik wasn't so sure. (SUPPLIED)


Kim Clijsters sent out a warning to her rivals when she demolished Australia's Alicia Molik in the second round of the Brisbane International yesterday.

The Belgian was in ruthless form as she saw off Molik in one hour, breaking the Australian's serve six times on her way to a 6-0, 6-3 victory.

She broke her opponent in the first game of the match and then broke twice more to wrap up the first set in only 25 minutes. Clijsters continued her rampage as she broke Molik at the start of the second set then held to open a 2-0 lead.

Molik eventually held serve, then managed to break back at 2-3 to even up the set, but Clijsters stepped up a gear and won the next three games to take the match.

"I found it pretty easy to read her serve – that was something I was worried about before the match," said Clijsters. "That is one of her best shots, but I felt comfortable returning and kept the pressure on."

There is now a good chance that Clijsters will meet compatriot Justine Henin in Saturday's final, and Clijsters said she had been impressed by what she saw in Henin's comeback win against Nadia Petrova on Monday.

"I watched a little bit of it on TV – very impressive I thought," said Clijsters. "She was moving really well and didn't look like she'd left [the sport]. On TV she looked fast and strong and I assume that [if I play against her] on the court she'll be the same."

While Petrova said Henin would emerge the winner if the two met in the final, Molik wasn't so sure.

"[Kim's] still incredibly good at the things she's always done well," said Molik. "She left the game when she was at the top and she's still at that level."


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