Clijsters books Pacific final berth

Updated: 25 February 2007 08:48 IST

Top seed Kim Clijsters made it through to the final of the 15th Pacific Life Open at Indian Wells on Friday, with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Conchita Martinez of S

Clijsters books Pacific final berth

Indian Wells:

Top seed Kim Clijsters made it through to the final of the 15th Pacific Life Open at Indian Wells on Friday, with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Conchita Martinez of Spain.Temperatures were already rising to uncomfortable levels at Indian Wells for the first of the women's semi-finals in the US$ 2.1-million Pacific Life Open, and the underdog challenger, 26th seed Conchita Martinez, proved an awkward opponent for Clijsters, the world number three.Looping groundstrokes, variations of spin and changes of pace were the weapons that Martinez, a former world number two but now eleven years Clijsters' senior, was hoping to upset her adversary with, but Clijsters coped well and broke the Spaniard's serve as early as the third game of the match. 2-1 quickly became 3-1 as Clijsters began to drag Martinez around the court, and the constant changing of direction on the hard surface soon took its toll.At 4-3 down in the first set, Martinez required a medical time out to be treated for blisters and was never quite the same competitor again.The first set was eventually conceded on a double fault after 50 minutes of frustrating attritional tennis - Clijsters took it by 6 games to three but if the top seed or the crowd thought that Martinez would go quietly they were mistaken.The Spaniard could look back to their first meeting back in 2000 on a similar surface for inspiration - in San Diego she crafted a 6-3, 6-4 victory, but this is a very different Clijsters even from the one that took her revenge 7-5, 7-5 later that year at Filderstadt.The Belgian gave as good as she got and mixed up her own game, breaking for a lead of 3-1 in the second set, and completed a string of six games out of seven in taking the score to 4-1.Martinez hung on to 4-2 but could only take the Clijsters serve to one deuce in the entire match - her own opening service game went to eighteen separate points and contained 6 deuces - and never threatened to break back.In the end the Martinez challenge wilted in the heat as Clijsters raced to three set points on the Spaniard's serve and it was perhaps indicative of the way that the match had panned out that a limp forehand into the net settled matters in favour of the top seed. (AP)



Topics : Tennis
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