Clijsters enjoying final Wimbledon appearance

 

Kim Clijsters was unable to reach the Wimbledon final at the height of her career and at peak fitness but giving it one last shot is bringing the best out of her.

She retired once and came back after becoming a mother, but this is her farewell season and she came into the tournament she dearly wants to win with an injury.

However the 29-year-old Belgian, a three-time US Open champion and multiple finalist at every other grand slam, has come through two rounds now and not dropped a set.

She is giving no indication the abdominal strain she suffered before a semi-final in Holland last week is troubling her.

Today she was an impressive 6-3 6-3 winner against Andrea Hlavackova, a Czech player best known as a doubles specialist, just as she was in rolling past a fellow former world number one in Jelena Jankovic on Monday.

So Clijsters is at the last-32 stage in her last grass-court grand slam, and Russian 12th seed Vera Zvonareva stands in her way of going any deeper into the tournament.

A Centre Court outing was a treat for the crowd favourite today, and after drilling a forehand on match point she congratulated Hlavackova on her match before turning to receive rapturous acclaim, which had her beaming.

"You never get used to that kind of thing," Clijsters, a semi-finalist at Wimbledon in 2003 and 2006, said.

"This court made me come back to professional tennis and it means the world to me to be out there again."

It took just a single break of serve for Clijsters to pull one set ahead, making her decisive move in the sixth game.

Clijsters then had 40-15 against the Hlavackova serve in the seventh game of the second set and when her opponent hit out of court that provided the breakthrough she was seeking.

It was a break she consolidated to lead 5-3 and Hlavackova's challenge was finished as she dropped another service game to bow out.

Clijsters, who was kept waiting by the marathon contest which saw Caroline Wozniacki bow out to Tamira Paszek, said: "I felt I was into the match as soon as it started.

"We had a long match before us and I warmed up a few times but I really kept my focus and was ready to go."

Clijsters cannot count on playing on Centre Court next so today's experience was one to savour.

"It's a very special walk when you leave the locker room, and I was like, 'Maybe this is the last time'," she said.

"But as soon as I felt that I told myself, 'No, you're going to go for it', and I really tried to play some really good tennis so I could get another opportunity to play here."

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?
Rachael Lander interview: From strung out to playing strings

From strung out to playing strings

Award-winning cellist Rachael Lander’s career was almost destroyed by the alcohol she drank to fight stage fright. Now she’s playing with Elbow and Ellie Goulding
The science of saturated fat: A big fat surprise about nutrition?

A big fat surprise about nutrition?

The science linking saturated fats to heart disease and other health issues has never been sound. Nina Teicholz looks at how governments started advising incorrectly on diets
Emmys 2014 review: Can they genuinely compete with the Oscars

Can they genuinely compete with the Oscars?

The recent Emmy Awards are certainly glamorous, but they can't beat their movie cousins
On the road to nowhere: A Routemaster trip to remember

On the road to nowhere

A Routemaster trip to remember
Hotel India: Mumbai's Taj Mahal Palace leaves its darker days behind

Hotel India

Mumbai's Taj Mahal Palace leaves its darker days behind
10 best pencil cases

Back to school: 10 best pencil cases

Whether it’s their first day at school, uni or a new project, treat the student in your life to some smart stationery
Arsenal vs Besiktas Champions League qualifier: Gunners know battle with Turks is a season-defining fixture

Arsenal know battle with Besiktas is a season-defining fixture

Arsene Wenger admits his below-strength side will have to improve on last week’s show to pass tough test
Pete Jenson: Athletic Bilbao’s locals-only transfer policy shows success does not need to be bought

Pete Jenson: A Different League

Athletic Bilbao’s locals-only transfer policy shows success does not need to be bought
This guitar riff has been voted greatest of all time

The Greatest Guitar Riff of all time

Whole Lotta Votes from Radio 2 listeners
Britain’s superstar ballerina

Britain’s superstar ballerina

Alicia Markova danced... every night of the week and twice on Saturdays
Berlin's Furrie invasion

Berlin's Furrie invasion

2000 fans attended Eurofeurence
‘It was a tidal wave of terror’

‘It was a tidal wave of terror’

Driven to the edge by postpartum psychosis