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Last Updated: Tuesday, 4 July 2006, 15:01 GMT 16:01 UK
Clijsters sees off Li challenge
By Piers Newbery
BBC Sport at Wimbledon

Kim Clijsters
Clijsters also reached the Wimbledon semi-finals in 2003
Kim Clijsters reached the semi-finals at Wimbledon for only the second time with victory over Na Li on Tuesday.

The Belgian, ranked second in the world, came through 6-4 7-5 in one hour 27 minutes on Centre Court.

Li, the first Chinese player in a Grand Slam quarter-final, fought hard and led 5-2 in the second set before Clijsters reeled off five straight games.

Second seed Clijsters will play fellow Belgian and third seed Justine Henin-Hardenne in the last four.

"I'm very happy, it's my second semi-final here and it's always been a great tournament for me," said Clijsters.

"I knew she was the type of player who would play aggressive tennis and I knew that was what I had to do as well.

"I think we both played good tennis and she's had a really good tournament but in the end I'm happy I came back from that break down to finish it off in the second set."

The pressure of making history was apparent when Li opened with a double fault and dropped her opening service game.

But she soon found her range to get back on terms at 2-2 before US Open champion Clijsters broke again in the fifth game and served out for the set.

With both heavy-hitting players going for broke on the return of serve there were to be plenty of breaks.

Clijsters looked on course for a comfortable win when she took Li's serve again at the start of the second but the Chinese player then hit a rich vein of form.

She raced 5-2 ahead but could not convert her opportunity, allowing Clijsters to break twice before taking her third match point on her own serve.

SEE ALSO
Gamewatch: Li v Clijsters
04 Jul 06 |  Tennis
Wimbledon day eight photos
04 Jul 06 |  Tennis


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