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01-06-2010, 02:02 AM #1
Clijsters comeback gathers pace over Molik
Kim Clijsters continued unhindered in her storming comeback to tennis as she hammered good friend Alicia Molik 6-0, 6-3 for a quarter-final place at the Brisbane International Tuesday.
It took just an hour for Belgium's surprise 2009 US Open winner to go through at the expense of the Australian, a former number eight who is making a comeback to the sport - albeit in a lower mode than Clijsters.
Molik, 198th, had been looking for a first victory at the WTA level in two years.
But Molik had no answer for the power of the petite Belgian mother of one, a one-time doubles partner of the 28-year-old Australian. Clijsters lifted the first eight games of the one-way contest to set her winning tone.
Two of three men's seed made first-round exits, with number four Czech Tomas Berdych the only early survivor as he started with a defeat of Australian Nick Lindahl 6-2, 6-4.
Former US top 10 James Blake upended fifth-seeded compatriot Sam Querrey 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 as the rangy Californian played his first event since seriously cutting his arm in a Bangkok accident and risking his career in September.
Aussie qualifier Matthew Ebden did himself proud with an upset of Austrian sixth seed Jurgen Melzer 7-5, 6-1.
Local wild card Carsten Ball, an LA-based Australian and son of a former name player, moved into the second round over German Mischa Zverev 7-5, 6-1. He next faces top seed Andy Rod****.
There was no luck for junior Grand Slam champion Bernard Tomic as the Australian 17-year-old lost 6-4 6-4, to Ukrainian qualifier Oleksandr Dolgolov.
2006 Australian Open finalist Marcos Baghdatis advanced 7-5, 7-5 in a welcome win over US player Mardy Fish.
"It wasn't my best match but I'm happy," said the smiling Cypriot whose career since his Melbourne final has been a series of injuries and disappointments.
"In the off-season I worked hard on fitness. I'm quicker, fitter and I am enjoying it."
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