Iveta Benesova was able to outplay and outfox Samantha Stosur in the 2nd round of the 2012 Brisbane International. In the quarterfinals, former world #1 Kim Clijsters would have none of it. Kim displayed a game that looks primed for the upcoming Australian Open, where she is the defending champion, in ousting Benesova, 6-3 6-2. And watching the match, the score could have been worse if not for a few loose shots by Kimmie. She won this tournament in 2010 in a thrilling 3-set final over countrywoman Justine Henin where Clijsters had to fight off 2 match points and a horrible overrule by the chair umpire on a match point. She now stands two victories away from another title, but Daniela Hantuchova will have a lot to say about that. Even should Kim get past Daniela in the semis, the winner of Francesca Schiavone and Kaia Kanepi would await in the final.
With all due respect to Hantuchova, you can be sure the tournament officials are hoping for Kim to at least make the final, even if she doesn’t ultimately take the title. Losing Samantha Stosur, Serena Williams, Ana Ivanovic and Andrea Petkovic has taken out a lot of the fan favorites. Having “Aussie Kim” in the final is probably the best scenario for the local fans other than actual Australian Stosur. But it’s sports. You never know what is going to happen. Daniela will not roll over and just let Kimmie through to the final, nor should she. Also, due to Serena pulling out with an injury following her second round match, Daniela received a walkover victory in the quarterfinals, so she will have an extra day of rest to prepare for Clijsters. Plus, I remember what Daniela did to Caroline Wozniacki at Roland Garros in 2011 (granted, a much different surface against a player who does not attack like Kimmie). Hantuchova can be brilliant at times and mediocre at times. If the brilliant Daniela shows up, Kim better bring her A game.
Singles – Quarterfinals
Kaia Kanepi (EST) d. (2) Andrea Petkovic (GER) 61 76(7)
(3) Francesca Schiavone (ITA) d. (6) Jelena Jankovic (SRB) 57 76(2) 63
(5) Kim Clijsters (BEL) d. Iveta Benesova (CZE) 63 62