Kim Clijsters routed Russia’s Dinara Safina 6-1, 6-1 Saturday to set up a final with Mary Pierce at the Gaz de France tournament.
Pierce downed 16-year-old French countrywoman Tatiana Golovin 6-4, 6-0 in her semifinal. Golovin strained her left hip and needed treatment after the first set.
Clijsters, the Australian Open runner-up, broke her opponent six times and lost serve only once.
“I played aggressively from the start,” Clijsters said.
The top-seeded Belgian has played Pierce once, beating her in Germany last year.
“Mary looks very fit and strong and keen,” Clijsters said. “The final will be fun. The crowd will be on her side but that’s normal.”
Pierce, returning to this event after a three-month break, used her big serve to reach her first final since capturing the 2000 French Open.
“Is it really as long ago as that?” Pierce asked. “It’s a great feeling. A lot of things have happened since 2000.”
She made 83 percent of her first serves, winning 70 percent of them. Pierce broke Golovin four times and fought off the four break points she faced.
“I just feel I’m getting back on track and things can only get better,” said Pierce, who is ranked 37th and will rise about 10 spots.
Golovin, playing her first semifinal at this level, initially hurt her hip during her quarterfinal victory over Elena Dementieva.
“I was covered in aches and pains before the match,” Golovin said. “I even wondered if I could play. But I took a painkiller and for a set things were not too bad. Then the pain kicked in.”
Kuerten, Gonzalez in BellSouth final
Second-seeded Gustavo Kuerten of Brazil erased two set points Saturday to beat defending champion David Sanchez of Spain 7-6 (6), 6-4 in the semifinals of the $333,000 BellSouth Open in Chile.
Kuerten’s opponent Sunday will be fifth-seeded Fernando Gonzalez of Chile, who beat Flavio Saretta of Brazil 6-2, 6-3.
“It’s great winning at home, with my people,” Gonzalez said after his easy victory over Saretta.
Three-time French Open champion Kuerten predicted “a good, tough match against Gonzalez.”
Rafa Nadal made short work of his great rival Roger Federer to win the Italian Open, while Serena Williams took down Victoria Azarenka in the women's final.
Scenes from Down Under
Check out the best images from the 2013 Australian Open.
The best of Wimbledon
The best images from the Grand Slam tournament at the All-England Club.
French Open 2012: Top 10 Shots
June 10, 2012: John McEnroe, Ted Robinson, and Mary Carillo look back at the Top Ten best moments from the 2012 French Open.