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Page last updated at 06:28 GMT, Friday, 2 April 2010 07:28 UK

Kim Clijsters beats Henin to reach final against Venus

Kim Clijsters and Justine Henin

Kim Clijsters won a dramatic battle of the Belgians against Justin Henin to reach the final of the Sony Ericsson Open, where she faces Venus Williams.

Clijsters' 6-2 6-7 (3-7) 7-6 (8-6) win over her compatriot means she will aim for a 37th career title on Saturday.

Williams had continued her superb recent form with a 15th straight victory, 6-3 6-4, over Marion Bartoli.

Clijsters was set for an easy win in Florida as she led by a set and 3-0 but Henin hit back to push her all the way.

Neither of the two former world number ones, who have both made comebacks to the game in recent times, dominated on serve and Clijsters produced a double fault when serving for the match in the deciding set.

After losing the first two points of the tie-break, Clijsters roared back to take a 6-3 lead but once again Henin refused to roll over.

She won the next three points to close to 6-6 before Clijsters produced two great shots - a volley close to the net and then a cross-court forehand - to win the match.

606: DEBATE

Henin praised Clijsters for coming up with the big shots at the right moment, saying: "It wasn't a great match but she played better on the important points. She was more aggressive and took the opportunities and I think that really made the difference."

The 26-year-old now faces a confident Williams, whose victory over Bartoli was watched from the stands by her injured sister Serena.

"I think a lot is going to come down to the serve," said Clijsters, "I have to go out and play aggressively again."

Seven-times Grand Slam winner Williams was not at her sharpest but still proved too good for out-of-sorts Frenchwoman Bartoli.

The American broke serve straight away in a first set containing plenty of errors from both players. When her opponent broke back, Williams responded with a second break thanks to three double-faults.

Bartoli then looked poised for a second-set comeback after breaking to go 3-1 up but Williams broke back immediately with a spectacular cross-court forehand volley and then broke again to clinch victory.



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see also
Henin sees off Wozniacki in Miami
01 Apr 10 |  Tennis
Venus reaches last four in Miami
30 Mar 10 |  Tennis
Bartoli beats top seed Kuznetsova
30 Mar 10 |  Tennis
In-form Clijsters overpowers Peer
28 Mar 10 |  Tennis
Venus maintains top form in Miami
27 Mar 10 |  Tennis
Henin too strong for Dementieva
27 Mar 10 |  Tennis
Baltacha out of Miami tournament
26 Mar 10 |  Tennis


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