Paris: New world number one Kim Clijsters produced a patchy display to overcome Estonia's Kaia Kanepi 6-1, 7-5 in the Paris Open on Saturday and set up a final with fourth-seeded Czech Petra Kvitova.
The Belgian, who made sure she would leapfrog Dane Caroline Wozniacki in the rankings on Monday by reaching the last four, was short of her best form but still too good for the inconsistent third seed.
Watched by her daughter among an almost capacity crowd at the intimate Stade Coubertin hardcourt arena, Clijsters stayed on course for her second title at a tournament now run by retired French player Amelie Mauresmo.
Kanepi did little to tax the Australia and US Open champion early on, surrendering the first set by netting an easy shot, but she broke back twice to go 4-1 up in the second only for Clijsters to do even better and seal victory with a smile.
World number 18 Kvitova earlier reeled off a succession of superb winners to crush American Bethanie Mattek-Sands 6-2, 6-0 and meets Clijsters in Sunday's final in confident mood.
"Each match is different. Everybody can beat everybody," she said courtside.
Her expert returns and great passing shots, including one extraordinary winner when she was almost on her knees, boosted the Czech and the unseeded Mattek-Sands handed her the first set with a wild forehand.
Kvitova, 20, broke again straight away in the second set and never looked back in pursuit of a third career title, securing the win with an ace and a clenched fist to the sky.
Doubles specialist Mattek-Sands, who made the last four partly because of Maria Sharapova's withdrawal through illness, has wowed the Paris fashionistas with her unusual knee-high socks but her weak serve was just as evident on Saturday.
The city's tennis focus will shift slightly on Sunday with the French tennis federation set to vote on whether to keep the French Open at Roland Garros or move to the suburbs from 2016.
A final decision might not be reached but the oddly-timed meeting could still steal some of the limelight from Mauresmo's more modest tournament.
First Published: Sunday, February 13, 2011, 09:01