Clijsters bows out with loss
NEW YORK—Preparing for what she knew would be her last professional tennis tournament, Kim Clijsters—four-time Grand Slam title winner; mother of four-year-old Jada—devoted her effort and energy to the U.S. Open.
Family time needed to wait a tad longer.
“So, yeah, I think she’s going to be excited to kind of have her mom around more, on a more regular kind of basis.”
Little Jada’s gain is the tennis tour’s loss.
Clijsters lost 7-6 (4), 7-6 (5) to 18-year-old Laura Robson of Britain in the second round of the U.S. Open, and will head into retirement after she finishes playing doubles at Flushing Meadows.
She walked away from the sport once before, in May, 2007, then returned after a hiatus of two-plus years.
Now 29, the Belgian insisted this season that she means it this time, and decided the U.S. Open—and its hard courts that she conquered on the way to three championships—would be her final tournament.
“It’s the place that has inspired me so much to do well and to do great things. It’s hard to explain sometimes why,” Clijsters said in an on-court interview, her face flushed and her eyes welling with tears.
“This completely feels like the perfect place to retire,” Clijsters told the spectators at Arthur Ashe Stadium, many of whom rose to shower her with a standing ovation.
“I just wish it wasn’t today.”
Canadian Aleksandra Wozniak also was eliminated in the second round yesterday, falling 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 to No. 15 seed Lucie Safarova.
The Blainville, Que. native had three aces and broke on four of eight chances, but she lost serve seven times.