Clijsters ruins Cornet's 21st birthday at Aussie - NBC Sports

Clijsters ruins Cornet's 21st birthday at Aussie
U.S. Open champion advances to 4th round with 7-6 (3), 6-3 win
AP
Belgium's Kim Clijsters makes a forehand return to France's Alize Cornet during their third-round match at the Australian Open on Saturday.
January 22, 2011, 6:01 am

U.S. Open champion Kim Clijsters beat Alize Cornet 7-6 (3), 6-3 of France, getting closer to win her second Grand Slam in a row.

Cornet, trying to celebrate her 21st birthday, provided a tougher challenge for Clijsters, who had only conceded four games in her first two rounds. The French player was presented with a birthday bouquet of flowers after the match, a small consolation for losing to one of the tournament favorites.

"It was tough. She's a tricky player," Clijsters said. "During the match I felt like I was playing two different persons. I had to constantly move my feet, and work harder."

Cornet had trouble enough playing one.

Slideshow
Kim Clijsters

From Margaret Smith Court to Kim Clijsters, check out the Open era victors.

Second-seeded Vera Zvonareva kept alive her bid for a third consecutive Grand Slam final with a 6-3, 7-6 (9) win over Lucie Safarova.

Zvonareva, who lost the U.S. Open final to Clijsters, served for the match twice against Safarova but was extended to the tiebreaker. Safarova led 4-2 and 5-3 in the tiebreaker before Zvonareva finally sealed it on her fourth match point.

Zvonareva has a chance to move into the No. 1 ranking her by winning the title. Her priority now is getting past a fourth-round match against Iveta Benesova, who beat No. 16 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-3, 1-6, 7-5.

Slideshow
Australian tennis fan Victor Mudge gets

Take a look at the enthusiastic and creatively dressed fans through the years at the Australian Open.

No. 12 Agnieszka Radwanska beat Simona Halep 6-1, 6-2 and will next play China's Peng Shuai, who had a 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 win over Japan's Ayumi Morita. Peng, who saved seven break points in the seventh game of the deciding set, will make her first appearance in the fourth round of a Grand Slam.

No. 10 Shahar Peer was ousted, losing 3-6, 7-6 (3), 6-4 to No. 22 Flavia Pennetta.

© 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Channel Finder