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Tennis: Even for generous Clijsters, no charity for Safina

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By Associated Press

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Kim Clijsters is one of the friendliest players on the women's tour. Cheery in the locker room, generous, polite.

That's off the court.

She learned by losing three Grand Slam finals that intensity is essential to winning a major, something she's hoping to do outside the United States for the first time.

Clijsters started her Australian Open run with a 6-0, 6-0 romp Tuesday. Such domination is not uncommon in the early rounds of a Grand Slam tournament when top seeds face lowly ranked players, qualifiers or wild cards.

To do it, however, against three-time Grand Slam finalist and former No. 1-ranked player Dinara Safina was remarkable.

Safina had no answers for Clijsters, who sprayed winners all over the court. And Clijsters, a three-time U.S. Open champion, offered no letup.

"When you feel that your opponent is not playing their best tennis, you really just try not to focus on that too much," she said. "You try not to become a little bit more easygoing. ... You try to keep that same mentality as when you started 0-0."


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