Clijsters beats Jankovic

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Top-seeded Kim Clijsters battled past Jelena Jankovic 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 to reach the quarterfinals of the Acura Classic on Thursday.

Updated: February 25, 2007 11:36 IST
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Top-seeded Kim Clijsters battled past Jelena Jankovic 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 to reach the quarterfinals of the Acura Classic on Thursday. After Jankovic levelled the set score, Clijsters broke for 4-2 in the decisive set, and needed three match points in the final game, finishing off the Serb by smashing a forehand winner. "I was just trying to hang in there," Clijsters said. "My legs felt dead today. I felt like it was so hard to keep pushing myself, but I tried." Clijsters extended her winning streak to 22 matches in North American summer hardcourt tournaments since she lost here last year in the quarterfinals. Clijsters has won 42 of her last 44 matches in all North American hardcourt events. Jankovic lost to the Belgian in the same round last year, and last week in Stanford, where Clijsters successfully defended her title. In Friday's quarterfinals, Clijsters will face Martina Hingis, the former two-time winner making her first appearance here since 2001, who defeated Flavia Pennetta of Italy 6-2, 3-6, 6-1 to uphold her record of never losing before the quarters in Carlsbad. Sharapova advances Second-seeded Maria Sharapova ground out a 6-4, 6-4 win over Vera Zvonareva to go 3-2 ahead in meetings between the Russians. Zvonareva, a two-time winner on the tour this year, broke Sharapova at 5-2 in the final set, saved a match point in the next game, but Sharapova served out to love. "From the beginning of the match, I felt like I hung in there and was really patient," Sharapova said. "I felt like I played really solid." Sharapova's quarterfinal opponent will be defending champion Mary Pierce of France, a 6-2, 6-1 winner over Emma Laine of Finland. No 4-seeded Elena Dementieva overcame 10 double faults to beat Sania Mirza of India 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 for the third straight time this year. The Russian's quarterfinal opponent will be No 5 seed Patty Schnyder of Switzerland, who beat Paola Suarez of Argentina 6-3, 3-6, 6-1. Nicole Vaidisova of the Czech Republic, the seventh seed, hit 16 aces in winning 6-4, 6-2 against Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia, who couldn't convert any of her seven break points. Vaidisova will next meet Russia's Anna Chakvetadze, who a day after ousting world No 5 Nadia Petrova, accounted for Serbia's Ana Ivanovic 4-6, 6-4, 6-1. (AP)

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