Clijsters lands in Sydney semis

Kim Clijsters of Belgium returns the ball to Barbora Zahlavova Strycova of the Czech Republic at...

Kim Clijsters of Belgium returns the ball to Barbora Zahlavova Strycova of the Czech Republic at the Sydney International tennis tournament January 11, 2011. (REUTERS/Daniel Munoz)

Sports Network

, Last Updated: 2:05 PM ET

SYDNEY, Australia -- Two-time champion Kim Clijsters was an easy quarterfinal winner Wednesday at the Sydney International tennis event, a final Australian Open tuneup.

The third-seeded two-time reigning U.S. Open champ Clijsters leveled seventh- seeded Belarusian Victoria Azarenka 6-3, 6-2 on the hardcourts at Sydney Olympic Park Tennis Centre.

The three-time U.S. Open titlist Clijsters, who captured this Sydney event in 2003 and 2007, will face Russian Alisa Kleybanova in Thursday's semifinals. Kleybanova snuck past Slovakian Dominika Cibulkova 6-3, 5-7, 6-2. Cibulkova ousted world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki here on Tuesday.

The other semi will pit eighth-seeded Chinese Li Na versus Serbian teenager Bojana Jovanovski. Li overcame former top-five star Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia 3-6, 7-6 (7-4), 6-3, while the 19-year-old qualifier Jovanovski handled Italian veteran Flavia Pennetta 6-4, 6-1 on Day 4. Pennetta upset 2010 Wimbledon and U.S. Open runner-up Vera Zvonareva in the second round.


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