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Clijsters knocks out Kloesel in 46 minutes
Published March 25, 2005
KEY BISCAYNE - Unseeded but undaunted, Kim Clijsters needed just 46 minutes to win her first-round match Thursday at the Nasdaq-100 Open.
Coming off her first tournament title in 13 months, Clijsters continued her comeback from a wrist injury by winning the first 11 games and beating Sandra Kloesel 6-0, 6-1.
"It's good to have a short match like this to get used to again," Clijsters said.
She won her 22nd career championship last week at Indian Wells, upsetting Lindsay Davenport in the final. It was the Belgian's first title since she had surgery last June for an injury that threatened her career.
"I tried to stay very positive, even when I was injured," she said. "In Indian Wells, I was hitting the ball well, and each match it got better. In the final, the puzzle was complete."
Ranked No. 133 at Indian Wells, Clijsters became the lowest-ranked player to win a Tier I WTA Tour title. This week she's 38th - a big improvement, but not enough for one of the first-round byes granted the 32 seeded women.
"I still feel like there's a lot of work to do," Clijsters said. "I just want to play some matches so I can get back into that rhythm."
Orange Bowl champion Jessica Kirkland, 18, lost to Akiko Morigami 6-2, 6-2. Kirkland had 37 unforced errors.
In men's play, Ivo Karlovic came up short against 5-foot-5 Olivier Rochus, who overcame a huge height disadvantage to win 5-7, 7-6 (6), 7-6 (3). Karlovic, the tallest player on the tour at 6-10, lost despite hitting 30 aces.
"When he's serving, you have the feeling he's just behind the net," Rochus said. "It's a strange feeling."
Rochus will next play top-ranked Roger Federer.
American Mardy Fish overcame 60 unforced errors to beat Tomas Zib 7-6 (2), 6-7 (3), 6-3. Donald Young, a 15-year-old wild card from Chicago, lost to Jean-Rene Lisnard 6-4, 7-5.
Injury-plagued Mark Philippoussis took a tumble in the next-to-last game and suffered a leg injury. He was able to return, however, and beat Christophe Rochus, 6-4, 6-2.