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."

BUY WIMBLEDON TICKETS

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

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

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future