Sunday, June 20, 2010

Clijsters Is Focused

Clijsters refuses to contemplate a reunion with Justine Henin after the Belgian pair moved one step away from a fourth-round clash.

Kim Clijsters is first focused on overcoming Russian 27th seed Maria Kirilenko following her convincing second-round triumph over Karolina Sprem yesterday.

The eighth seed has beaten Henin twice in 2010 after a four-year gap since their final meeting before both temporarily retired - which came when Henin triumphed in the Wimbledon semi-finals.

Clijsters, who eased to a 6-3 6-2 victory over Croatian Sprem, said: "Obviously I'm not there yet. So until I'm in that position, I will think about and focus on what's ahead.

"I have mixed doubles and then singles against Kirilenko. That will be my first mental focus. And then, if I get through that, I'll think about Justine."

Wimbledon remains the only grand slam Henin has not won but she is refusing to put much pressure on herself as she relishes her first visit to SW19 for three years.

"I see this differently than in the past," the 28-year-old said. "It's like I really open my eyes now.

"In the past, after the French (Open), usually I've played well at the French, and emotionally I was coming here with a lot of pressure. I was number one also at that time.

"Now I see really things differently. A lot of things have changed but the atmosphere is just fantastic. You really feel the passion of the game."

Second seed Venus Williams and fourth seed Jelena Jankovic both advanced yesterday with the American more impressive.

The five-time winner beat Eastbourne champion Ekaterina Makarova 6-0 6-4 on Centre Court before Serbian Jankovic won 4-6 6-2 6-4 against Canada's Aleksandra Wozniak.

Three seeded players exited at the second-round stage yesterday with Israel's Shahar Peer, ranked number 13 in the draw, losing to Angelique Kerber 3-6 6-3 6-4.

Number 30 seed Yaroslava Shvedova also crashed out, losing 6-3 6-4 to Russia's Regina Kulikova, while 33rd seed Melanie Oudin went down 6-4 6-3 to Australian Jarmila Groth.

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