Clijsters back for Australian Open with winning start
Updated: 2012-01-04 13:50
BRISBANE - Kim Clijsters's preparations for her Australian Open defence later this month were also given a severe shake-up when she squandered a blistering start before she beat Serbia's Ana Ivanovic 6-1 1-6 6-3 in the Brisbane International first round on Tuesday.
Ivanovic had seemingly been on course for her first victory over the Belgian in five meetings when she rebounded to take a 3-1 lead in the final set before the fifth-seeded Clijsters fought back.
Kim Clijsters of Belgium hits a return to Ana Ivanovic from Serbia during their match at the Brisbane International tennis tournament, Jan 3, 2012. [Photo/Agencies]
The four-times grand-slam winner broke the former French Open champion in the seventh game of the final set to take a 4-3 lead then held serve and broke the Serbian in the final game to advance to the quarter-finals after a roller-coaster 78 minutes.
The women's second and third seeds, Germany's Andrea Petkovic and Italy's Francesca Schiavone, advanced to the quarter-finals with Petkovic particularly impressive as she battled with a back injury.
The 10th-ranked German took a little while to get going after her tough three-set victory against Shahar Peer on Monday, and played into Czech Barbora Zahlavova Strycova's strengths before she ran out a 7-6 6-0 winner.
"Hopefully I'm going to have a day off tomorrow and then I can get rid of the pain because it's bothering me on the serve. I cannot really get good pop," Petkovic said.
"Right now from the baseline I feel very good. My movement is fine and my serve was fine also until this happened, so we will see what happens."
Former French Open champion Schiavone beat Kazakhstan's Galina Voskoboeva 6-4 6-4.
Ana Ivanovic from Serbia reacts during her match against Kim Clijsters of Belgium at the Brisbane International tennis tournament, Jan 3, 2012. [Photo/Agencies]