's-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands (Sports Network) - Former top-10
player Nadia Petrova earned a spot in Saturday's final, while former world No.
1 star Kim Clijsters withdrew from her scheduled semifinal match Friday at the
Unicef Open because of an abdominal strain.
The eighth-seeded Russian Petrova handled Belgian qualifier Kirsten Flipkens
6-4, 6-2 to set-up a championship match with Poland's Urszula Radwanska on the
grass at Autotron Rosmalen. Flipkens was forced to finish her quarterfinal
match on Friday after rain forced the suspension of it on Thursday. The
Belgian wound up upsetting sixth-seeded and defending Den Bosch titlist
Roberta Vinci 6-4, 7-6 (7-5).
The Italian Vinci beat Aussie Jelena Dokic in last year's Unicef finale.
The 22nd-ranked 30-year-old Petrova will appear in her 22nd career final,
seeking an 11th title and her first championship since last year. She will
meet the world No. 64 Radwanska for the first time on Saturday.
The qualifier Radwanska received a walkover into the final when Clijsters
pulled out. The 21-year-old Pole, the younger sister of current world No.
3 star Agnieszka Radwanska, will appear in her first-ever WTA final.
Clijsters apparently was hurt during her quarterfinal match against Francesca
Schiavone on Thursday.
"We went to the hospital in 's-Hertogenbosch, where an irregular fiber
structure has been established," said trainer Sam Verslegers in a statement on
Friday. "In view of Wimbledon we have made a safe decision."
Clijsters is headed to Wimbledon next week and has drawn Jelena Jankovic in
her first-round match at the All England Club.
"Some days of rest will encourage much, perhaps even full recovery," added
Verslegers. "I think she will be able to go at full force in a few days."
The four-time Grand Slam champion was playing her first tournament since a
third-round exit at the Sony Ericsson Open in March. She skipped the European
clay-court season, including the French Open, to prepare for the grass-court
campaign that includes Wimbledon and the Olympics.
Clijsters has said the 2012 season will be her last, as she intends to retire
after the U.S. Open later this summer.
The 29-year-old Belgian wife and mother captured this Dutch event in 2003
and was the Den Bosch runner-up in 2001.
The 2012 champion here will collect $37,000.
The Sports Network