Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Maria and Kim Set Up Battle of the Babes

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Maria and Kim Set Up Battle of the Babes

Article excerpt

Byline: CHRIS JONES

MARIA SHARAPOVA and Kim Clijsters needed iron willpower to stagger through scrappy Australian Open quarterfinals today and set up a heavyweight meeting in the last four.

Top seed Sharapova struggled past fellow Russian Anna Chakvetadze 7-6, 7-5 in the opening match on Rod Laver Arena, before fourth seed Clijsters dug deep to overcome her close friend Martina Hingis 3-6, 6-4, 6-3.

The match against sixth seed Hingis never lived up to expectations in terms of quality, and Belgian Clijsters needed great determination to overcome 62 unforced errors and extend her last Australian Open campaign with victory over the three- times former champion.

"I wasn't really seeing the ball," said Clijsters. "The only thing you can do is fight and hope you can turn things around and I did.

"I have to be sharp against Maria. She's an incredible athlete and fights for every point. Hopefully, I will hit less than 62 unforced errors. …

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