Ana beaten by classy Clijsters

Ana beaten by classy Clijsters

Ana lost 6-2, 6-1 to former world No.1 Kim Clijsters in the quarter-finals of the Proximus Diamond Games. Contesting her fourth quarter-final of 2007, Ana was simply outplayed by the Belgian, who was on top form throughout the 55-minute match.

Clijsters was in outstanding form from the word “play”. She hit 35 winners and just 15 unforced errors and she served at 70 per cent. Conversely, Ana never fully settled in the partisan atmosphere, created by a 14,000-strong home crowd that savoured the Belgian’s last ever appearance in Antwerp.

Despite doing her best Guillermo Coria impression – she served two doubles faults in the opening game – Clijsters held, then immediately applied pressure on Ana’s opening service game. Cracking a swathe of heavy crosscourt forehands, the world No.4 quickly opened up a 5-0 lead.

Ana appeared somewhat shaken and struggled with her timing, though she did at least attempt to vary her play; she approached the net on several occasions, but Clijsters was simply too good.

The 19-year-old got her name on the scoreboard and even broke the Belgian to get back to 2-5, but Clijsters added a third break to wrap up the opening set in 28 minutes.

It was a similar pattern in the second set with the No.2 seed again opening up a 5-0 lead. At this point Ana was in grave danger of losing her record of being the only player in the current top 20 who has never lost a professional set 6-0, not least when she faced match points on her own serve.

She saved them both and prevented a ‘bagel’ set but had no answer in the following game as Clijsters, timing the ball so well she would even hit virtual half-volley forehands from the baseline, served out a most impressive victory. It was all over when Ana hit a forehand wide.

Though Ana was far from her best today, few players would have handled Clijsters in this form.