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Kim Clijsters to meet Venus Williams in US Open semis

US Open, Flushing Meadows
Dates: 30 August - 12 September Start time: 1600 BST
Coverage: Live text commentary on BBC Sport website and mobiles; updates on BBC Radio 5 live; live on Sky Sports

and Sam Stosur
Clijsters went into the match having won all three previous meetings with Stosur

Defending champion Kim Clijsters came through a desperately scrappy US Open quarter-final to set up a tantalising last-four clash with Venus Williams.

Williams, the third seed, battled past Francesca Schiavone 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 in a late-running daytime match on Arthur Ashe Stadium.

And Clijsters then opened the night session with a 6-4 5-7 6-3 victory over Australian fifth seed Sam Stosur.

Both Williams and Clijsters are chasing their third titles at Flushing Meadows.

Williams, 30, had won all seven previous meetings with Schiavone, including two this year, but the Italian poses a greater threat since winning her maiden Grand Slam title in Paris.

So it proved in the early stages as neither player could establish any dominance on serve on another blustery New York night, and after two breaks apiece it came down to a tie-break.

You can't break serve and have chance after chance after chance and blow it in a quarter-final

Sam Stosur

Schiavone recovered from 4-1 down and a beautiful drop volley had the sixth seed clenching her fist at 5-5, but two forehand errors followed and she all but handed Venus the set.

The American took control early in the second set but she twice let breaks slip before dismantling the Schiavone serve once again to close it out in game 10.

"She played a great match," said the 2000 and 2001 champion. "It's not easy to play in these conditions, it's hard to know what decisions to make, but she played excellent."

Clijsters went into her match on an 18-match unbeaten run in New York that included title wins either side of her retirement in 2005 and 2009.

The 27-year-old Belgian also had a 3-0 record over the much-improved Stosur, who had lost to Schiavone in the French Open final earlier this year.

606: DEBATE

It was the Australian who made the better start but Clijsters fought back to take the first set, before unforced errors and fragile serving began to plague both players.

Stosur needed two chances before serving out the second set and Clijsters was in trouble in the decider as she was broken three times in a row, but Stosur could not capitalise and the reigning champion edged through in one hour and 14 minutes.

"I'm going to be disappointed about this one," Stosur said. "You can't break serve and have chance after chance after chance and blow it in a quarter-final."

Clijsters and Williams share a 6-6 career record but the Belgian has won the last four, including a fourth-round win at Flushing Meadows 12 months ago.

"We had a great match last year, it was really close," said the American. "I'm sure that match made a big difference for her, because she went on to win the title.

"I'm sure we'll have another really good match-up. I would like to kind of flip the way it turns out."



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see also
US Open day nine photos
07 Sep 10 |  Tennis
US Open day nine as it happened
07 Sep 10 |  Tennis
Nadal powers into quarter-finals
08 Sep 10 |  Tennis
Robson reaches last 16 in juniors
07 Sep 10 |  Tennis
Order of play
23 May 09 |  Tennis
Men's singles latest
21 May 10 |  Tennis
Men's singles draw
26 Aug 11 |  Tennis


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