Tag Archives: Kim Clijsters

Miami WTA Review: Does Clijsters Want Serena’s Part-Time Job?

Rather than analyze yesterday’s final where Kim Clijsters ran away with the title 6-2, 6-1 by merely keeping the ball in play versus an erratic Venus Williams, I’d rather spend time pointing out this recent Twitter message from Clijsters to Venus’s sister Serena and what it all means for the WTA.

“@serenajwilliams Lucky you on your way to the beach! some of us have to practice for a tough match 2moro!!”

This gentle jab at Serena for spending time (rather obviously by the photos Serena tweeted about herself in a bikini) at the beach while still recovering from her knee injury basically summed up the whole women’s event at Miami. Even though she never stepped on a court, Serena still overshadowed any matches played. And though we still don’t know when or where Serena will play again, it’s safe to stay that Clijsters, who will be ranked No. 10 on Monday, could soon find herself with another job besides taking care of her daughter Jada, that of being No.1. Continue reading

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Clijsters & Henin Dismantle “Future” of WTA Azarenka & Zvonareva.

Remember this time last year when the “future” of the WTA appeared out of nowhere? Vera Zvonareva’s title run at Indian Wells followed by Victoria Azarenka’s win over Serena Williams in Miami seemed like the beginning of another wave of young stars set to dominate the tour.

Well, fast forward a year and with the easy wins by Justine Henin and Kim Clijsters over both of these rising stars today at the Sony Ericsson Open, it raises questions of where both Azarenka and Zvonareva are headed in their careers and where the WTA is going too. Continue reading

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Venus Wins “Tennis Night in America”.

I’m not going to go into much detail over the BNP Paribas Billie Jean King Cup event held at Madison Square Garden other than the fact that Venus Williams won it over Kim Clijsters 6-4, 3-6, 7-5.

Despite its attempt to showcase some of the best women players, it looks like the event was half-filled, probably due to the recent snow that hit New York City and the hit the event took when Serena Williams pulled out due to her ongoing leg issue.

The only real interesting thing to watch was the return of Ana Ivanovic who played surprisingly well against Kim Clijsters in the first semifinal. Continue reading

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Clijsters Wins Epic Battle Over Henin in Brisbane.

In what could be the women’s match of the year (and we’re only two weeks in) Kim Clijsters prevailed in an epic match against fellow Belgian Justine Henin at the Brisbane International 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (6).

Clijsters jumped out to a first set win at 6-3 and with steady play soared to a double break 4-1 lead in the second. But Henin found her form and soon got back to 4-4 which unnerved Clijsters.
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Henin v. Clijsters – Winning Matches vs. Winning Hearts.

With her 6-4, 6-2 semifinal win over Andrea Petkovic at the Brisbane International, Kim Clijsters set up another finals clash with Justine Henin.

This is the first meeting between the two after their last encounter at Wimbledon in 2006 which Henin won. Henin is still 12-10 lifetime against her fellow Belgian.

Henin has cited Clijsters’ stunning comeback and U.S. Open win as one of the inspirations behind her own return. Clijsters is slightly favored in the match as Henin’s form this week has been shaky at times.

Despite their less then friendly rivalry in the past, mostly due to Henin’s cool persona in her “first career” as she calls it, both women expressed excitement at playing each other tomorrow.

Even if Henin loses, how she projects herself to the public and media now and during the Australian Open will be just as important as her win/lose ratio. Henin certainly earned respect on tour for her many titles, but Clijsters earned more genuine admiration just for her good natured personality.

As with other players in the past, it’s usually those who embrace their public role that end up being more admired as time goes on. If Henin wants that legacy, she will have to work at it just as much as she does with her famous one-handed backhand.

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“The Best” in Tennis – 2009 Review.

Of course this being December, everyone is taking a look back at the year that was. Here’s my brief look back at the best in tennis for 2009.

Player of the Year – Kim Clijsters.
Yes I know Roger Federer had an amazing year, again, but Kim Clijsters’s title run at the U.S. Open was the story of the year not only for her exceptional play but also that it highlighted, unfairly perhaps, the lack of depth in the women’s game right now. If Clijsters had not won the Open, I doubt Justine Henin would have returned as she too senses an opportunity for more glory. Clijsters’s win in New York was a “tour-changer” and its impact will be felt in 2010 regardless how well Clijsters does next year.

Best Men’s Match of the Year. – Roger Federer vs. Andy Roddick – Wimbledon Men’s Final.
Ok so this wasn’t quite the epic that Federer vs. Nadal was last year, but it certainly had it’s share of drama especially the fifth set “serve-off” that Federer barely won thus eclipsing Roddick’s dream of a Wimbledon title. One wonders if Roddick still thinks about that missed backhand volley that could have given him a two set to love lead in the match, but the respect Roddick earned worldwide will certainly be with him next year. (I know some would say Nadal vs. Verdasco in the Australian Open Semis was “the” match, but I have to give the edge here just because it was for the Wimbledon title.)

Best Women’s Match of the Year – Serena Williams vs. Elena Dementieva – Wimbledon Semifinals.
What impressed me the most was the ball striking in this one as the ladies hit the ball harder than any men’s match I’ve ever seen. Dementieva was oh so close to taking out the top seed but Serena’s perseverance not only paid off by winning this match, and then the finals against sister Venus, but did a lot to cement Serena as the female player of the decade.

Comeback Players of the Year – Svetlana Kuznetsova and Nikolay Davydenko.
I know people are expecting Kim Clijsters here but let’s face it, “Sveta’s” win at the French Open was a bit unexpected as many had already written her off as a one Slam wonder. Her consistent play throughout the year indicated that Sveta was hungry for more glory and I expect her to do well in 2010. As for Davydenko, many had forgotten him at the beginning of the year and his substandard play during the Slams. But his late season run including wins at Shanghai and the Barclays ATP Finals proved he was always in the mix.

Rising Star of the Year – Juan Martin Del Potro.
With his total beatdown of Rafael Nadal in the semis of the U.S. Open and then his amazing five set win over Roger Federer in the finals, Del Potro emerged from the pack of contenders to become “the” contender for Roger’s crown in 2010. How he handles his newfound fame, considering his rather shy nature, remains to be seen but do not count Delpo for any title next year.

And finally a special thanks to those players who retired this year including Marat Safin, Amelie Mauresmo, Fabrice Santoro and Ai Sugiyama. All of them brought their own unique gifts, spins and personalities to a game that desperately needs more players like them. I wish them all the best in their new lives.

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WTA Crystal Ball for 2010.

Now that the WTA season is over and the ladies are resting up for Australia, I thought it was time to look ahead and give my predictions for 2010. 2009 was a drama filled year and I expect even more next year. Players will be “ranked” according to what I think their year-end ranking will be for 2010.

1. Serena Williams – Even with the return of Justine Henin and Kim Clijsters, I don’t expect anyone to take over the top spot from Serena and expect her to win at least two Slams for 2010.

2. Caroline Wozniacki – “Sunshine” as she’s known on the tour will have another consistent year and will find herself in another Slam final. If she can win a big one remains to be seen but it will be hard to bet against her next year. Conditioning and her excessive match play may hurt her down the road.

3. Dinara Safina – A lot depends on Safina’s current back injury and her mental toughness for 2010. I can see her in a Slam final but she will have to dismiss whatever demons she has in order to make it back to the top spot.

4. Svetlana Kuznetsova – Despite her mental flaws, “Sveta” will always be a factor in 2010 and will probably make it to another Slam final. If she wins a Slam next year is entirely up to her. Watch out for her at the Australian Open as she finished 2010 in good shape healthwise.

5. Venus Williams – 2010 will be the last chance at glory for Venus as she turns 30 this year. Aside from Wimbledon, she’s not been a factor for a while at the other Slams and her knee could be a big issue. Plus the fact that no one tour is afraid of playing her could may next year very tough.

6-9. These slots will change depending on the names, i.e. Jelena Jankovic, Victoria Azarenka, Elena Dementieva, etc. They could breakthrough and win a Slam, but let’s face it, shouldn’t they have done so already?

10. Kim Clijsters – Everybody keeps salivating over Henin’s return but Clijsters, who played lights out tennis at the U.S. Open, will still go into every tournament with nothing to lose and thus no pressure. I expect Kimmie to be a factor in Australia and a heavy favorite at the U.S. Open again.

Wildcards – Justine Henin will be the story at the Australian Open win or lose. It will all depend on her draws and I actually think the clay court season is where she will find the most success. She has more to lose than Kim Clijsters in her comeback so a Slam victory in 2010 is paramount.

Sam Stosur – Stosur finally won a WTA event in ’09 and will probably break into the top 10 next year. She’s got the game to win a big one, maybe even Wimbledon, but does she believe she can win is the question.

Maria Sharapova – Sharapova is finally getting back on track after a rocky 2009. If her serve starts clicking again, she could be a factor but probably not until Wimbledon.

Ana Ivanovic – 2010 will define Ivanovic’s entire career. If she can get over her mental and physical fatigue, she could work her way back into the top ten again. If she can’t, I could see her retiring early. Hope I’m wrong.

Melanie Oudin – Next year will be the real test for the feisty American to prove the U.S. Open run was no fluke. I definitely see her in the top 20 before too long. Perhaps the French Open will be her next surprise Slam as she says she likes the clay?

Amelie Mauresmo – There’s been no word yet on Mauresmo’s potential retirement but even if she decides to stick it out, 2010 will probably be her last year. Maybe she will finally go for broke and play with nothing to lose? If so, we could be in for a real treat.

Let me know what you think!

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