JOHN PYE Associated Press MELBOURNE, Australia -
Kim Clijsters had another quarterfinal win over Martina Hingis despite a rash of unforced errors, and moved into the Australian Open semifinals against top-seeded Maria Sharapova.
Fourth-seeded Clijsters won 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 Wednesday, breaking Hingis' serve in the last game and ending the match with a forehand passing shot.
"I wasn't really seeing the ball, the only thing you can do is to work for every point to try to turn things around," said Clijsters, who made 62 unforced errors and dropped serve five times. "I knew it was going to be a tough one. It could have been my last match here, so I'm glad to have one more."
Tommy Haas advanced to the men's semifinals by upsetting third-seeded Nikolay Davydenko 6-3, 2-6, 1-6, 6-1, 7-5. Haas saved a match point before coming back to get the win.
Clijsters, who plans to retire at the end of the season, said she would have to be sharp from the start against Sharapova.
"She fights a lot, she's an incredible athlete," said Clijsters. "Hopefully I'll hit a lot less than 62 unforced errors."
Clijsters ended Hingis' remarkable comeback run here in the quarterfinals last year, when the Swiss star was ranked No. 349 and returning from three years off the circuit because of injuries. She also beat Hingis in the quarterfinals at the French Open.
Hingis had won three straight Australian Open titles from 1997-99 and then lost three consecutive finals before quitting the first time.
"It's my most disappointing loss against her," said Hingis, who is 0-4 against Clijsters since her comeback and 4-5 overall.
She used all her experience to mix it up this time against Hingis, drawing her to the net and working her from sideline to sideline.
"I always tried to give her a different look at a ball, that's why she made so many unforced errors," Hingis said. "That's my game. It worked for a set and a half, but you have to keep it going."
Clijsters has made the semifinals here on every trip since 2002 - missing the 2005 tournament because of injuries - but has never won the title.
Sharapova advanced to the Australian Open semifinals for the third straight year with a 7-6 (5), 7-5 win over Anna Chakvetadze, another 19-year-old Russian.
She had trouble on her serve, double-faulting on break point three times, but she had the only point on serve in the tiebreaker.
Sharapova was very inconsistent, smacking clean winners to take one game, then committing glaring mistakes to lose the next. She finished with 32 winners but six double faults and 41 unforced errors and won only three more points than her opponent.
The U.S. Open champion was broken when serving for the match at 5-3 and wasted a match point with a backhand error in the next game. She made no mistake in the 12th game, finishing off in 2 hours, 14 minutes when Chakvetadze netted a forehand.
"It was very difficult, I didn't feel like we had a lot of easy rallies," Sharapova said. "I felt I had to work on every point."
Sharapova, who looks toward her father, Yuri, sitting in the stands after almost every point, got a warning for getting coaching from him as she served at 0-30 with the score tied at 2-2 in the second set. She then ran off four straight points to take the game.
"I was a little up and down, a bit scratchy," Sharapova said. "I am glad I got through, but next time will even be tougher."
Clijsters, who had looked so sharp in her first four matches here, started quickly, winning nine of the first 10 points, before running into trouble.
She bashed 23 unforced errors in the first set and double-faulted on set point.
With the mistakes piling up, the normally sedate Clijsters looked ready to smash her racket. Then she started finding the range, breaking Hingis twice to serve for the second set at 5-2. But she dumped two drop shots into the net, the second on break point.
She saved break point in the next game and then pulled even on a backhand crosscourt winner.
After an early exchange of breaks in the third, Clijsters got the last break she needed, getting a swinging forehand winner after Hingis had staved off four break points at 4-3.
After hitting a forehand winner down the line, Clijsters crouched as she soaked up the standing ovation, then applauded the crowd with her racket.
On the other side of the draw, Andy Roddick was ruthless, treating his close friend like little more than warmup fodder for his semifinal showdown with top-ranked Roger Federer.
The 2003 U.S. Open champion flattened Mardy Fish without blinking Tuesday, making only four unforced errors in a 6-2, 6-2, 6-2 quarterfinal win.
"I played pretty flawless, I thought," Roddick said. "I feel good going into the semis."
Federer, who lost to Roddick in the final of an exhibition tournament on Jan. 14 but has a 12-1 record in official ATP matches, dropped his serve four times in a 6-3, 7-6 (2), 7-5 win over No. 7 Tommy Robredo.
The defending champion Federer is aiming for 10th Grand Slam title.
Serena Williams continued her improbable run for an eighth Grand Slam title, fending off 10 break points and coming within two points of defeat before beating Shahar Peer 3-6, 6-2, 8-6.
That put her into a semifinal against 17-year-old Nicole Vaidisova.
"I am the ultimate competitor," said Williams, who missed most of last season with recurring knee trouble. "I don't think anyone thought I would get this far, except for me and my mom."