Clijsters waltzs into final

Tennis: US Open: Belgian ousts Serena Williams, to face Wozniacki in title round

Clijsters waltzs into final


SUPER SHOW: Belgium’s Kim Clijsters is jubilant after defeating Serena Williams of US in  the semifinals of US Open on Saturday. AFP

Just weeks after returning to the tour from a two-year break to start a family, Clijsters beat the defending champion 6-4, 7-5 after a day-long rain delay at Flushing Meadows.

At 5-6, 15-30 down in the second set, Williams whacked her second serve but the lineswoman called her on a foot-fault that put her at match point down.

The American's subsequent expletive-laced tirade directed at the lineswoman resulted in a point penalty -- and the end of the match.

After the line-judge reported the second seed to the umpire for verbal abuse, Williams added: "I never said I would kill you, are you serious?"
In Sunday's final, Clijsters will face Danish teenager Caroline Wozniacki, who defeated unseeded and error-prone Belgian Yanina Wickmayer 6-3, 6-3 in the other semifinal.

The contentious ending of Clijsters' match marred her well-earned victory.

"It's unfortunate that a match that I was playing so well at had to end that way," said Clijsters, the 2005 Open champion and former world number one.

"Obviously, I still to this point am a little confused about what happened out there, just because I was so focused. I was trying to win that last point. Things ended a little bit different than I expected."

Clijsters, the first mother to reach a grand slam final since Evonne Goolagong at Wimbledon in 1980, missed out on the thrill of winning match point.

"When you play that last point, whether it is a winner or by mistake from your opponent, it's a great feeling to have," Clijsters told reporters.

"So, yeah, the normal feelings of winning a match weren't quite there."

"Seeing the ball really well, I was hitting well, and I was really focused. And to win it, that's a great feeling to have. It's a little bit unfortunate that I didn't have that, but it's not going to take anything away from tomorrow's match or how special that would be for me, and for bothSerena Williams, (left) of the United States, shakes hands with Kim Clijsters, of Belgium, after losing the match at the U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York. AP of us."

Williams, the 2009 Wimbledon and Australian Open champion, could not believe her misfortune. "All year I've never been foot faulted, and then suddenly in this tournament they keep calling foot faults," Williams said. "I said something that I guess they gave me a point penalty for. Unfortunately it was on match point."

"I never really expected to be beating Venus and beating Serena. You try and you try to bring your best tennis, but no, you don't expect things to be going this well this soon,” said Clijsters.

"That's why I, knock wood, just try to really stay focused and not lose my rhythm ... Just trying to keep that going until the whole tournament is finished.”

In a match delayed more than seven hours because of wet conditions, unseeded Wickmayer made 40 unforced errors, mainly from her booming forehand, against just 14 for Wozniacki. A sedate audience of only a few hundred gathered close around them at the 10,000-seat court. The only cheers heard were those that drifted down from the towering main stadium.

"Maybe actually it was easier, because you didn't really feel that you're in the semifinals," Wozniacki said. "You didn't feel the pressure too much that actually you're so close to being in a finals."

Wozniacki executed the same game plan that lifted her to a 6-2, 6-2 quarterfinals win over US darling Melanie Oudin.

Playing it safe while demonstrating an athletic, all-round game, the eighth-ranked Dane won the first set despite holding serve just twice as she broke number 50 Wickmayer four times. Wozniacki, winner of three tournaments this year including the New Haven run-up event for the Open, claimed victory on her second match point when, fittingly, Wickmayer belted a forehand wide.

Yuki ousted

Top seed Yuki Bhambri’s title hopes went up in smoke after a stunning straight-set defeat to unseeded local favourite Chase Buchanan in the boys’ singles quarterfinal.

The match, delayed by a day due to persistent rain ended in a heartbreaking 3-6, 6-7(4-7) loss for the Indian, who had not dropped a set this far in the hard court event.

Argentine’s Del Potro enters final
Argentine sixth seed Juan Martin del Potro beat Rafael Nadal 6-2, 6-2, 6-2 on Sunday to reach his first Grand Slam final at the US Open.

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