Not a good day at the of­fice for Kim

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - SPORT -

KIM CLI­JSTERS crashed out of the Aus­tralian Open in a shock­ing 6-0 6-1 loss to 19th-seeded Na­dia Petrova yes­ter­day.

Cli­jsters, who won the US Open in Septem­ber in only her third tour­na­ment back from two years off to get mar­ried and have a baby, seemed dis­tracted as she won only five points in an 18-minute first set in her third-round match at the Aus­tralian Open.

It barely got bet­ter for her in the sec­ond, when she held serve only once. Cli­jsters made the match last 52 min­utes by sav­ing two match points, but was never in con­tention.

The loss ends any chance of a quar­ter-fi­nal be­tween Cli­jsters and fel­low Bel­gian come­back player Justine Henin, who ad­vanced to the fourth round ear­lier yes­ter­day with a three­set win over Alisa Kley­banova.

The mag­ni­tude of the de­feat was as­ton­ish­ing given that Cli­jsters had beaten Henin in a three-set fi­nal at a warmup event at the Bris­bane In­ter­na­tional on Jan­uary 9 and had won two ti­tles in her five pre­vi­ous tour­na­ments since com­ing back.

The lop­sided score­line would rank among Cli­jsters’ worst. She only won four games in a 6-0 6-4 loss to Henin in the 2003 French Open fi­nal.

Cli­jsters had only dropped one set in four pre­vi­ous wins over Petrova, whose best runs at the Grand Slam tour na- ments ended in semi-fi­nal losses at the French Open to Cli­jsters in 2003 and Henin in 2005. Cli­jsters had reached the semis or bet­ter at her five pre­vi­ous trips to the Aus­tralian Open, in­clud­ing a loss to Henin in the 2004 fi­nal. – AP

REUTERS

BLOW OUT : Cli­jsters lasted just 51 min­utes.

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