Fellow tour players did not have enough time to see how Kim Clijsters would return to the tour late last season. After three summer tune-ups, the 36 time tour winner and two-time Grand Slam Champion stole the show in New York at the U.S Open. A sentimental favorite, Clijsters had taken more than two years off to be with her newborn child. With her September victory, she became the first mother, since Yvonne Goolagang (1980) to win a major title.
Kim fashioned her comeback with the help of long-time coach Wim Fissette and trainer Sam Versiegers. Her refreshing poise makes her a strong contender in every match. As evidenced by her play against Serena Williams in the Open’s semifinal match, Clijsters is all the way back and on a mission. Kim’s relentless ground strokes and unflappable serve seemed to unnerve Serena and led to the now famous outburst, disqualifying the top seed. Clijsters eased past young, surprise finalist Caroline Wozniacki to capture her second U.S. Open.
Clijsters brought a new sense of order to the topsy-turvy world of women’s tennis. Finally, there was another proven player to challenge Serena and the game’s elite. With more than $16 million in career earnings and with more than $80,000 deposited this year, Clijsters is certainly the most dangerous player not in the top ten. With country mate Justine Henin floating in the draw, no bracket is safe. You can bet the seeds are looking for those two as they rate their brackets.
2007 started well for Clijsters. She jumped out to a 14-2 record, winning at Sydney, reaching the semis in Melbourne and the finals at Antwerp as well as the 4th round in Miami. On May 6th, as the 4th ranked player on the tour, she hit the brakes by announcing her retirement.
This year she championed in Brisbane before heading to Melbourne and a bracket filled with landmines, including Henin, Petrova, Dementieva, Kuznetsova and friend-foe Wickmayer. 6 of the world’s best and most powerful players were congregated in one overloaded bracket. Clijsters appeared mystified by the play of Nadia Petrova and suffered the worst defeat of her career.
She seemed to take it well. Petrova was definitely on her game. Clijsters has not stepped onto a WTA court since, which leaves questions about her fitness for Indian Wells. Clijsters is regarded as an all court player. She reached the finals on the clay at Roland Garros and has won on the speed courts at the U.S. Open twice. Kim is enjoying married and family life and is not allowing her career to upset her matronly responsibilities. It will be interesting to see how the winner of 447 singles matches balances her act.
No matter what she does, she is way too dangerous to be seeded behind the likes of Safina or Wozniacki. It’s time to change the ratings guys. The Belgians are back on top of women’s tennis, right where they belong.
|Birth Date||June 8, 1983 (26)|
|Height||5’ 8 1/2”|
|Year Turned Pro||1999|
|Current Rank – Singles||17|
|Current Rank – Doubles||20|
|Career Prize Earnings||$16,477,052|
|Year-To- Date – Earnings||$80,196|
|Grand Slam (Singles)||2|
|Grand Slam Doubles||2|
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