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All down to experience as Clijsters eases through

Last updated on: January 20, 2012 19:13 IST

Clijsters has spent less than two hours on court in the first two rounds

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Champion Kim Clijsters continued to ease through the Australian Open draw with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Daniela Hantuchova on Friday, and said her experience as a veteran player is smoothing her progress.

The 28-year-old Belgian had entered the season's first major lacking match practice having pulled out of the semi-finals at the Brisbane International tournament while a set ahead, against Hantuchova, with a hip injury.

Since then she has spent less than two hours on court in the first two rounds at Melbourne Park and continued her ruthless progress through the tournament against the 20th seed.

"I think when you're a little bit older you're capable of, in your mind, to set your mind to what it is like to play a match again," she said. "You have your routines ... but they're so important.

"You have your game that you know that you're going to stick to. I think when I was younger I needed to play those matches to kind of get a feel for how I had to play and what my coach wanted of me and those kind of things.

"Now I know out there."


Image: Kim Clijsters (right) with Daniela Hantuchova
Photographs: Getty Images

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'In a Grand Slam, you know, every draw is tough'

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Clijsters still feels she is getting tough matches.

"In a Grand Slam, you know, every draw is tough," she said.

"You're going to be in a situation where you're going to be in the fourth round and it's always going to be tough in the fourth round."


Image: Kim Clijsters
Photographs: Getty Images
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'In a way it's going to be nice to play Li Na'

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Clijsters may have eased through the draw so far, but her experience on important points, knowing when they were and how to win them also helped her against Hantuchova.

"I was able to, at the important points, you know, win those points and make the right decisions," she added.

"Obviously at the end of the day, when you're not playing your best, that's what it comes down to is just trying to play the important points as well as possible.

"I was able to do that today."

The Belgian next faces a potential repeat of last year's final against Li Na if the Chinese beats Spain's Anabel Medina Garrigues later on Rod Laver Arena.

"In a way it's going to be nice to play Li Na, to have the final from last year because it was such a great match for both of us to be a part of," she said.

"So it would be nice to play against each other again."


Image: Kim Clijsters
Photographs: Getty Images

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