Beaten Ivanovic blames nerves as Clijsters storms into last 8

Martin Caparrotta
By Martin Caparrotta
kim clijsters
(Photo: Andrew Huse)

kim clijsters

Defending champion Kim Clijsters has warned her US Open rivals that she is improving with every match after breezing past Ana Ivanovic to reach the quarter-finals at Flushing Meadows.

Clijsters stormed to a 6-2 6-1 victory over the 22-year-old Serb in less than an hour to set up a clash with either Samantha Stosur or Elena Dementieva for a place in the last four.

“You always want to do well at the tournaments where you’ve done well,” said Clijsters, who is on an 18-match winning streak in New York. “Obviously the US Open is s special tournament to me.”

“I wasn’t able to defend my title in 2006 so coming here as a defending champion is a new experience and something that kind of keeps it fresh too. Tennis-wise, I feel I’ve been improving every match. I want to try and keep it going.”

Former world No1 Ivanovic has never reached the quarter-finals at the US Open and admitted nerves played their part during her disappointing defeat to the Belgian.

“I think nerves crept in,” Ivanovic said, who has struggled with her form since winning the French Open in 2008. “I just felt like, you know, I was on the big stage again. I didn’t have that feeling for a long time.

“Lots of emotions came back, and I felt just a little slow and just a little bit, you know, out of it. But she played well. I had my opportunities in the beginning that I didn’t convert, so that was a little bit disappointing.”

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