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Page last updated at 13:38 GMT, Monday, 28 June 2010 14:38 UK

Wimbledon 2010: Kim Clijsters sees off Justine Henin

Wimbledon Championships
Venue: All England Club, London Date: 21 June - 4 July
Live on BBC One and Two, HD, Red Button, BBC Sport website (UK only), Radio 5 live, 5 live sports extra; live text commentary online and on mobile phones. Full details of BBC coverage

Kim Clijsters

Clijsters bounces back in Belgian battle

By Caroline Cheese
BBC Sport at Wimbledon

Kim Clijsters fought back from a set down to beat fellow Belgian Justine Henin in a scrappy fourth-round match.

Eighth seed Clijsters will meet Vera Zvonareva in Tuesday's quarter-finals after a 2-6 6-2 6-3 win.

The 28-year-old committed a host of errors in the first set, which the more aggressive Henin took in 29 minutes.

But Henin, who fell and hurt her arm in the first set, faltered and dropped serve crucially in the eighth game of the decider as Clijsters came through.

"She came out of the blocks really fast, really dominating. I felt a little bit overwhelmed," Clijsters told BBC Sport.

Clijsters relieved to beat Henin

"It was up to me to stay in the points and serve better. That's how I made the turnaround, a few longer rallies."

Both Belgians were competing at Wimbledon for the first time since coming out of retirement.

Clijsters returned midway through last season and won a Grand Slam title at the first attempt at the US Open, while Henin came back in January and reached the Australian Open final in her second tournament back.

Given that their head-to-head record stood at 12-12 and their two meetings this year had both been decided by third-set tie-breaks, their encounter on Court One was among the most keenly anticipated of Wimbledon's famous fourth-round day.

Clijsters prevailed in Brisbane and Miami this year, but her prospects of a hat-trick looked bleak when she lost the first set amid a deluge of errors.

Henin's only moment of concern came when, leading 2-0, she slipped as she tried to change direction and fell awkwardly on her arm.

The 28-year-old took a medical time-out for treatment, but emerged to break for a second time on her way to winning a 29-minute set.

Henin again had treatment on her elbow between sets, and later said it had bothered her during the match.


"It's a little worse after than it was during the match," she said. "I thought it was the tendon but we're not quite sure. It's quite painful on my serve and my backhand a little bit.

She added: "Kim made a lot of mistakes first set and I was really into it. But she started to be more intense in the second and after that I wasn't able to come more into the court, be in control of the rallies."

Clijsters managed a first-serve percentage of just 53 and committed 13 errors in the first set, but crucially improved those figures to 62 and six in the second.

After a difficult opening service game, Clijsters grew into the match, her forehand finally beginning to find its mark.

Henin, on the other hand, wilted, and the crowd, desperate for a classic encounter, struggled to get into the match.

But Henin could not rise to the challenge, three badly-timed errors giving Clijsters a crucial break in the eighth game of the decider.

As Clijsters served for the match, Henin rifled a backhand at her rival's feet to earn a 15-30 lead, and the crowd sensed another potential shift in momentum.

It was not to be though and Clijsters closed out the next three points with relative ease.

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see also
Wimbledon day seven as it happened
28 Jun 10 |  Tennis
Wimbledon 2010 - day seven photos
28 Jun 10 |  Tennis
Federer and Nadal into last eight
28 Jun 10 |  Tennis
Wozniacki & Jankovic both go out
28 Jun 10 |  Tennis
Henin win sets up Clijsters clash
25 Jun 10 |  Tennis
Henin & Clijsters stay on course
23 Jun 10 |  Tennis
Clijsters ready for return to SW19
17 Jun 10 |  Tennis
Order of play
23 May 09 |  Tennis
Men's singles draw
26 Aug 11 |  Tennis
Women's singles draw
28 Jan 10 |  Tennis
Tennis on the BBC
26 Oct 11 |  Tennis

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