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Clijsters classic

Sunday, 25 March 2007 - 12:55am IST | Agency: Reuters
Kim Clijsters began her farewell appearance at the Sony Ericsson Open by sweeping the last dozen games to overwhelm Akiko Morigami on Friday in the second round.

Nadal struggles against Mello, seeded Blake ousted


MIAMI: Kim Clijsters began her farewell appearance at the Sony Ericsson Open by sweeping the last dozen games to overwhelm Akiko Morigami 4-6 6-0 6-0 on Friday in the second round.


Men’s second seed Rafael Nadal, champion last weekend in California, struggled in the opening set but managed to beat Brazil’s Riccado Mello 7-6 6-2.  Eighth seed James Blake, who needed treatment for a wrist injury, was upset 7-6 2-6 6-3 by Frenchman Florent Serra but his Davis Cup team mate Andy Roddick beat Martin Vassallo Arguello of Argentina, 6-3 6-2.


Clijsters, the 23-year-old women’s 2005 champion from Belgium, is due to retire later this season following her July marriage to American basketball player Brian Lynch.  The fourth seed needed a set to find her feet before ripping past the 63rd-ranked Japanese, finishing with a forehand winner.  Fellow Belgian Justine Henin, seeded second, survived a shaky start to defeat American Vania King 6-4 6-1. 


Henin, who captured titles in Dubai and Doha last month, acknowledged a lack of match fitness against the world number 78.   There were wins for seventh seed Jelena Jankovic, who beat China’s Peng Shuai 6-2 6-4, Russian Dinara Safina, a 6-1 6-1 winner over Laura Granville, and Li Na, who put out Tamira Paszek 6-2 6-0.


Blake fired an ace to save a match point, then took treatment for a wrist injury late in his struggle with Serra. 




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