Clijsters offers sympathy to Safina after whitewash win over Russian

The contrasting directions in the careers of "Aussie Kim" and "Aussie Ana", two of the crowd favourites at the Australian Open, were underlined by their performances here yesterday.

Kim Clijsters, who has been popular with the Australian public ever since she was engaged to Lleyton Hewitt, justified her status as the bookmakers' choice to win the title when she inflicted an embarrassing 6-0, 6-0 defeat on Dinara Safina, a fellow former world No 1 and the beaten finalist here only two years ago.

Ana Ivanovic, who has relatives in Melbourne and used to go out with the Australian golfer Adam Scott, was in the final here 12 months before Safina. The 23-year-old Serb's fall has not been as spectacular as the 24-year-old Russian's, but a recent mini-revival was stopped in its tracks when she was beaten 3-6, 6-4, 10-8 by Ekaterina Makarova, the world No 49.

Ivanovic has not gone past the fourth round of a Grand Slam event since winning the French Open three years ago. Clijsters, in contrast, has won two Grand Slam titles since making her comeback in 2009 following a two-year break from the game. The 27-year-old Belgian was far too strong for Safina, but had sympathy for the Russian, especially after her own meltdown here 12 months ago, when she was beaten 6-0, 6-1 by Nadia Petrova in the third round. Safina, who was world No 1 less than two years ago, has dropped to No 75 in the rankings and could fall out of the top 100 after her latest humiliation.

"I do feel bad," Clijsters said afterwards. "At 5-0 in the second set she hit a couple of backhands down the line and I even caught myself saying: 'Yeah, that's it.' When she doesn't play against me I'm rooting for her because I want her to get back into it and build confidence."

Safina, who was beaten 6-0, 6-1 by Marion Bartoli in Hobart last week, fought back tears at the end of the match and admitted: "I didn't know how to win a point. There was nothing I could do to hurt her."

BUY WIMBLEDON TICKETS

Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent