Kim Clijsters of Belgium, left, is congratulated by Ana Ivanovic of Serbia after Clijsters won their match 6-2, 6-1 at the U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York, Sunday, Sept. 5, 2010. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
NEW YORK (AP) — Kim Clijsters put a quick end to Ana Ivanovic's run at the U.S. Open, winning her 18th straight match at Flushing Meadows with a 6-2, 6-1 wipeout of the former world No. 1 in their fourth-round match Sunday.
Ivanovic, who fell to as low as No. 65 after a couple of injury-plagued years, has gotten back to No. 40 and was trying to move higher. She won three matches at the U.S. Open and was getting her biggest test — and opportunity — against the second-seeded defending champion.
It wasn't much of a contest.
After regaining an early break to pull within 3-2 in the first, Ivanovic got overpowered, losing seven straight games to turn the match into a rout. Clijsters, moving as well as anyone in the tournament, used heavy, deep groundstrokes to pressure Ivanovic into 28 unforced errors.
Looking like the more comfortable player on the showcourt in Arthur Ashe Stadium, Clijsters fought through the wind, which blew hard for the second straight day, and took command.
"She's playing with a lot more confidence," Clijsters said. "I can stay with her in the beginning of those first few games where she was playing really good tennis, if I could just stay with her and kind of just, make her doubt once in a while."
Trailing 4-1 in the second set, Ivanovic served a game that went seven deuces, but double-faulted to end the game. Eight points later, the match was over. It lasted 59 minutes. Ivanovic said she was nervous through much of it.
"I was on the big stage again," she said. "Lots of emotions came back and I just felt a little slow and just a little bit out of it."
Clijsters next faces the winner of a match scheduled for later Saturday between No. 5 Samantha Stosur and No. 12 Elena Dementieva.
The Belgian won the U.S. Open in 2005, then was off the tour for 2½ years while she got married and had a baby. She returned to win it again in 2009 and is still waiting for her first challenge at this year's tournament.
Other than a 7-5 second set in her first-round match, Clijsters has not been tested as she heads into the second week. She has lost a total of 14 games in four matches in what is the first true defense of her U.S. Open title because she missed 2006.
"Coming here as a defending champion has been a new experience and something that kind of keeps it fresh," Clijsters said. "It's a nice experience. And tennis-wise, as well, I've felt that I've been improving every match."
Also winning Sunday was No. 6 Francesca Schiavone, 6-3, 6-0 over 20th-seeded Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and No. 10 David Ferrer, who beat fellow Spaniard Danie Gimeno-Traver 7-6 (2), 6-2, 6-2.
Others on the schedule Sunday included No. 3 Venus Williams, who plays No. 16 Shahar Peer; No. 1 Rafael Nadal against Gilles Simon; 18th-seeded American John Isner against Russian Mikhail Youzhny and 20th-seeded American Sam Querrey against No. 14 Nicolas Almagro.