Clijsters through to last eight in Antwerp

Updated: 2007-02-15 08:55

Second seed Kim Clijsters booked a quarter-final spot at the Diamond Games with a convincing 6-0 6-2 second-round victory over Russian Olga Poutchkova on Wednesday.

Belgium's Kim Clijsters celebrates after winning the second round of the Proximus Diamond Games tennis tournament against Russia's Olga Poutchkova in Antwerp February 14, 2007. [Reuters]
he world number four, returning to action after missing last week's Paris Open through injury, showed no signs of her hip problem as she cruised through.

Belgian Clijsters next faces Russia's Ana Ivanovic or Nathalie Dechy of France on Friday.

Eighth seed Ivanovic defeated Belarussian Anastasiya Yakimova 6-3 6-2 in the first round on Wednesday.

"I felt good and the crowd were brilliant as always. I was a little nervous but it passed," Clijsters told reporters, adding that she was nursing a cold.

"I am just focusing on the next game and hopefully it all goes well. But I will have to move up a gear."

The tournament is Clijsters's last on home soil following her decision to retire at the end of the season.

Sixth seed Dinara Safina of Russia progressed with a 6-2 7-6 victory over Dutch teenager Michaella Krajicek, setting up a possible showdown with top seed Amelie Mauresmo.

The world number three from France will claim a diamond-studded racket worth one million euros ($1.30 million) if she wins the event for the third year in a row on Sunday.

Mauresmo starts her campaign with a second-round match against compatriot Virginie Razzano on Thursday.

Fifth-seeded Swiss Patty Schnyder was dumped out in the second round by Tatiana Golovin of France, who fought back to win 6-7 7-6 6-2.

Unseeded Golovin faces a quarter-final against the winner of the all-Russian clash between Elena Dementieva, seeded fourth, and Elena Likhovtseva.

Seventh seed Anna Chakvetadze came from behind to defeat Austria's Sybille Bammer 4-6 7-6 6-2 to seal her quarter-final berth.

The Russian next meets third seed Nadia Petrova or Vera Zvonareva who play on Thursday.

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