Top seed Kim Clijsters rolled into the quarterfinals at the Gaz de France Stars tennis tournament on Thursday with a commanding 6-2, 6-0 triumph over Croatian Karolina Sprem.
The world No. 2 did not disappoint her home crowd in Hasselt, Belgium, as she took home her 64th win this year and steps closer toward the 27,000 US dollar prize of the WTA Tier III indoor event.
A semifinalist here last year who was forced to retire due to a wrist injury that plagued her for nearly all of 2004, Clijsters has bounced back this season, winning eight tour titles including the US Open.
Clijsters will next face German Julia Schruff, currently No. 83 in the WTA tour rankings.
Second seed Nathalie Dechy of France and No. 8 Katarina Srebotnik of Slovenia both moved on to the round of eight after their opponents retired from their matches.
Dechy held a 6-0, 3-2 advantage over Roberta Vinci when the Italian pulled out, while Srebotnik was tied with American Meilen Tu 2-2 when the qualifier stopped play.
Dechy will meet Michaella Krajicek of the Netherlands in the quarterfinals, while Srebotnik will play No. 4 seed Dinara Safina of Russia. Krajicek outlasted Czech Lucie Safarova 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, while Safina downed American Jill Craybas 6-1, 7-6 (7-3).
Australian Samantha Stosur posted a 7-6 (9-7), 6-3 win over Belgian wild card Kirsten Flipkens to set up a quarterfinal clash with No. 3 Francesca Schiavone of Italy.
The Gaz de France Stars is currently in its second year and last year's trophy went to top seed Elena Dementieva of Russia. This year's total prize is 170,000 dollar.
Following are the results from Thursday's Gaz de France Stars women's tennis matches in Hasselt, Belgium, a 170, 000-US dollar WTA Tier III event (prefix number denotes seeding):
Michaella Krajicek, Netherlands, bt Lucie Safarova, Czech, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3
Samantha Stosur, Australia, bt (WC) Kirsten Flipkens, Belgium, 7-6 (7), 6-3
8-Katarina Srebotnik, Slovenia bt (Q) Meilen Tu, United States, 2-2 (retired due to left ankle sprain)
4-Dinara Safina, Russia, bt Jill Craybas, United States, 6-1, 7-6 (3)
2-Nathalie Dechy, France, bt Roberta Vinci, Italy, 6-0, 3-2 (retired due to right shoulder injury)
1-Kim Clijsters, Belgium, bt Karolina Sprem, Croatia, 6-2, 6-0
Doubles - Quarterfinals
Michaella Krajicek, Netherlands/Agnes Szavay, Hungary, bt 3-Eleni Daniilidou, Germany/Jennifer Russell, United States, 6-1, 6-2
Els Callens/Kim Clijsters, Belgium, bt 5-Mara Santangelo/ Roberta Vinci, Italy (walkover).