Australian Open: Clijsters digs deep to make last eight
Kim Clijsters completed the quarter-final line-up at the Australian Open although she was made to struggle by Ekaterina Makarova.
The Belgian third seed is the bookmakers' favourite to go all the way and land her first title in Melbourne, but she encountered some stiff resistance from Makarova before finally edging through 7-6 (7/3) 6-2.
“She is a tricky player and a left-hander — we don't get them too often so you have to have a different mindset, especially with the returns,” said Clijsters.
“She is a good player and it was a good match.”
Clijsters earned a quick break but was broken back immediately as Makarova levelled it up.
Clijsters threatened again at 6-5 by setting up two set points on the Russian's serve, but could not land the killer blow as it ended up going to the tie-break.
Her greater experience told in the breaker, however, as she upped the tempo to take the first set.
The second was more straightforward as Makarova started to struggle. She was broken twice as Clijsters advanced to a meeting with Agnieszka Radwanska.
Pole Radwanska moved into the quarters in Melbourne for the second time in her career thanks to a 7-5 3-6 7-5 victory over Shuai Peng.