Clijsters, Henin in all-Belgian showdown
BRISBANE, Australia (AP):
Kim Clijsters will meet Justine Henin in a highly anticipated all-Belgian final of the Brisbane International after both won their semi-finals yesterday.
Top-seeded Clijsters beat Germany's Andrea Petkovic 6-4, 6-2, hours after seven-time Grand Slam title winner Henin swept past Ana Ivanovic 6-3, 6-2 to secure a spot in the final of her first tournament since returning from retirement.
Henin leads Clijsters 12-10 in head-to-head matches after winning their past three meetings - all in 2006.
back to the old days
"I don't think anybody, anywhere around the world, especially Belgium, even our own groups and teams ... ever expected to see this again," Clijsters said. "It's real exciting. It's going to be an interesting one again. It's, you know, back to the old days."
Henin quit in May 2008 when she held the No. 1 ranking. She announced her comeback last September, soon after the 26-year-old Clijsters won the USw Open in her third tournament back after more than two years in retirement.
"It's always special when I play Kim. It's a day I like a lot," Henin said. "That's what a lot of people hoped for and expected.
"We've had a lot of great fights over the years. But a lot of things happened to her, a lot of things happen to me. It's going to be a different situation."
Men's top seed Andy Roddick fired 16 aces in a 6-3, 7-6 (5) win over Frenchman Richard Gasquet yesterday to move into a semi-final against fourth-seeded Tomas Berdych, who beat eighth-seeded Thomas Bellucci of Brazil 7-6 (4), 2-6, 7-6 (3).
first tournament since injury
This is Roddick's first tournament since injuring his knee in October and he faces singles and doubles - he is partnering James Blake - today.
"I wanted to come here and play well, get better with each match and get matches in. That's my biggest thing," he said. "I'd love to win here. The goal is to be prepared for Melbourne and I feel like that has been accomplished for the most part.
"Now it's the business end of the tournament, you want to try to go as far as you can."
Defending champion Radek Stepanek will take on Frenchman Gael Monfils in the other semi-final today, before the women's final in the night session on Pat Rafter Arena.