Confident Clijsters breezes into final

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The Independent Online

Kim Clijsters, the former world No 1, crushed the top seed Amélie Mauresmo 6-1, 6-0 on Thursday to reach the final of the Nasdaq-100 Open, where she will meet Maria Sharapova, who earlier beat Venus Williams 6-4, 6-3.

Kim Clijsters, the former world No 1, crushed the top seed Amélie Mauresmo 6-1, 6-0 on Thursday to reach the final of the Nasdaq-100 Open, where she will meet Maria Sharapova, who earlier beat Venus Williams 6-4, 6-3.

The men's No 1 seed Roger Federer swept to a 6-4, 6-2 win over Tim Henman to set up last night's scheduled semi-final meeting with Andre Agassi. The American, who in search of his seventh title in this event, beat his countryman Taylor Dent 7-5, 6-0 in 70 minutes. "It's the only tournament that I've won more times than my wife so that's a pretty big accomplishment in my house," said Agassi.

The unseeded Clijsters whipped past Mauresmo in little more than an hour to extend her winning streak to 13 matches and stay on course for back-to-back titles following her victory at Indian Wells 13 days ago. Clijsters has lost only one match since returning in February after missing most of the 2004 season with a wrist injury.

"Things have clicked into place really quickly," said Clijsters. "In Indian Wells it was like a dream and now it's even more amazing. I'm enjoying myself and everything is in place at the moment."

Looking sprightly and fleet-footed, Clijsters signalled her intent by breaking Mauresmo's serve early in the first set and from then on was never troubled by the Frenchwoman. "She just played unbelievable tennis," said Mauresmo. "She's in huge confidence, so everything that she goes for is in."

Federer eased past Henman to book his place in the last four with his 30th win this year and his 20th consecutive victory since losing to Marat Safin at the Australian Open in January. "I had a bad record against Tim, but now I look at the draw and I'm really not scared of anybody," he said.

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