Clijsters, Venus roll into quarterfinals

THE SPORTS NETWORK

, Last Updated: 9:30 AM ET

FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY - Defending champion Kim Clijsters and Venus Williams each recorded straight-set victories in fourth-round play Sunday at the 2010 U.S. Open.

Clijsters needed just 59 minutes to post a 6-2 ,6-1 win over former World No. 1 Ana Ivanovic to advance into her fourth straight quarterfinal here, albeit in sporadic years starting in 2003.

The Belgian took advantage of Ivanovic's poor second serve, winning 76 percent of the points on her opponent's lesser serve.

The two-time U.S. Open champ won seven straight games to move to 4-0 in the second set before cruising to the finish line. She won 70 of the 115 points played in the match.

"I knew once I got out there that Ana is the type of player -- she's playing with a lot more confidence, and if I can stay with her in the beginning of those first few games where she was playing really good tennis, if I could just stay with her and kind of just, yeah, make her once in a while doubt a little bit," Clijsters said. "Or just, you know, even when she's playing her best tennis, trying to retrieve a lot of balls and just try to get her to make the mistake."

Next up for Clijsters will be fifth-seeded Samantha Stosur, who gutted out a 6-3, 2-6, 7-6 (7-2) victory over 12th-seeded Russian Elena Dementieva. The match started late Sunday night and lasted into early Monday, taking more than 2 1/2 hours in all. It was the latest-ending women's match in U.S. Open history.

The Australian Stosur looked like she might be into the quarterfinals easily after a quick first set, but faltered badly. She committed 17 of her 58 unforced errors in the second set and won only 37 percent of her service points.

The Russian Dementieva kept her momentum going in the third set, getting out to a 3-1 lead. But Stosur broke her, then held serve to even the set. Dementieva had other chances, but could not convert on any of her four match points. Once in the tiebreak, Stosur pulled away to get the win.

Stosur, the runner-up at Roland Garros, had never been beyond the second round at the U.S. Open before this year. However, Clijsters figures to have a good chance to advance to the semifinals, as she has a 3-0 lifetime record against the Aussie.

Williams, the No. 3 seed, had a bit of an easier time than Stosur, taking down 16th-seeded Israeli Shahar Peer 7-6 (7-3), 6-3 to secure her spot in the quarters.

Williams, the last woman to win back-to-back US Open titles when she triumphed here in 2000 and 2001, improved to 6-0 in her career versus Peer, including four wins this year.

"We always have had very competitive matches, so I know it's not gonna be something I just walk through when I play against her," Williams said. "I have to stay focused and ready to take every point or else she will. It was a good challenge."

The American fired six aces past Peer to improver her career record here to 58-9. Williams will next do battle with reigning French Open champ and sixth-seeded Francesca Schiavone, who dominated 20th-seeded Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-3, 6-0.

Schiavone is through to the quarters here for the first time since 2003, while Pavlyuchenkova's best career run in a Grand Slam tournament came to a screeching halt.

Schiavone has an 0-7 career record against Williams.


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