Clijsters impresses on Grand Slam return

Former world number one Kim Clijsters made sure Ukrainian Viktoriya Kutuzova didn't make it through to round two of the US Open, with a resounding 6-1 6-1 win. It's the Belgian player's first Grand Slam tournament since her early retirement in 2007.


AFP - Former champion Kim Clijsters reached the second round at the US Open on Monday with a 58-minute, 6-1, 6-1 win over Viktoriya Kutuzova of Ukraine.

It was the Belgian player's first match at Flushing Meadows since she defeated Mary Pierce in straight sets in the 2005 final.

She was unable to defend her title the following year and then retired from the game in May, 2007 to marry and have a baby, only returning to action earlier this month.

The 26-year-old former world number one, playing in the first game on the Arthur Ashe Stadium court, got off to a storming start by winning the first seven points against her 21-year-old opponent.

Unseeded Clijsters then edged a marathon third game on serve to open a 3-0 lead and broke again with Kutuzova serving up a double fault at 15-40 on break point.

The Ukranian finally got on the scoreboard by holding serve in the sixth game but Clijsters then easily won the next game to take the set.

She then opened up a 2-0 lead in the second and broke again in the fifth game to lead 4-1 as her heavy hitting down both flanks left Kutuzova helpless.

Clijsters ran off eight points in a row against a demoralised opponent to smoothly move into the second round.

The win was the sixth for Clijsters against two losses since she launched her comeback and moved her forward to a potential second round clash against French 14th seed Marion Bartoli, whom she beat in straight sets in her first match back in Cincinnati.

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