Clijsters advances to quarterfinals

Kim Clijsters beat Olga Poutchkova of Russia 6-0, 6-2 to advance into the quarterfinals of the Diamond Games.

updated: March 22, 2007 06:37 IST
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Kim Clijsters won the first match of her last home tournament beating Olga Poutchkova of Russia. Clijsters beat Poutchkova 6-0, 6-2 to advance into the quarterfinals of the Diamond Games. Despite a recent recovery from the flu and a sore hip, the second-seeded Belgian won easily. She enjoyed a standing ovation from the 10,000-strong crowd at the Sports Palace on Wednesday. "It is so nice when everyone is backing you like that," said Clijsters, who grew up near the venue. Despite her age, the 23-year-old Clijsters will end her career at the end of the year. She wants to start a family and has seen her playing time increasingly shortened by injury. She did not want the incessant cheers yesterday to sound like a goodbye, though. "I'll be back on Friday and I hope it will not be my last match, Clijsters said. Earlier, Tatiana Golovin of France upset fifth-seeded Patty Schnyder of Switzerland 6-7 (2) 7-6 (5) 6-2 and joined Clijsters in the quarterfinals of the WTA event. Anna Chakvetadze of Russia rallied to beat Sybille Bammer 4-6, 7-6 (4), 6-2. Bammer was playing her third match in four days and fought off five match points before finally giving in to fatigue and her Russian opponent. In the first round, eighth-seeded Ana Ivanovic of Serbia beat Anastasiya Yakimova of Belarus 6-3, 6-2. Two-time defending champion Amelie Mauresmo opens her campaign for the diamond racket trophy on Thursday. If the top-seeded Frenchwoman wins the tournament this week, she gets to keep the gold and gem-encrusted racket.