Saturday, February 12, 2011

Kim gets back on top.

Kim Clijsters made an emphatic return to No.1, starting slowly against Jelena Dokic then absolutely steamrolling to reach the semis of the Open GDF SUEZ and secure herself the top spot come Monday.

Dokic, who won her way into the main draw through qualifying then scored her biggest wins in more than two years against Lucie Safarova and Nadia Petrova, came out on fire, scorching to a 3-0 lead. But the scare was short-lived, as Clijsters, the No.1 seed, reeled off 12 games in a row for a 6-3 6-0 win.

Clijsters will spend her 19th career week at No.1 next week. It has been 256 weeks since the last time she was No.1, the second-longest gap between stints at No.1 for both the WTA and the ATP World Tour (Serena Williams had 265).

Clijsters' first 10 weeks at No.1 came between August 11 and October 19, 2003 (she was displaced by Justine Henin). Her next two weeks came between October 27 and November 9, 2003 (she was again displaced by Henin). Years later, Clijsters spent seven more weeks at No.1 between January 30 and March 19, 2006 (this time displaced by Amélie Mauresmo, who retired at the end of the 2009 season and is now the Co-Tournament Director here in Paris).

Next up for Clijsters will be No.3 seed Kaia Kanepi or No.8 seed Dominika Cibulkova, who played the second night match.

No.4 seed Petra Kvitova and Bethanie Mattek-Sands also made the semis. Kvitova rallied from 3-5 in the third to beat No.7 seed Yanina Wickmayer, 5-7 6-3 7-6(3), while Mattek-Sands upset No.6 seed Andrea Petkovic, 7-6(4) 2-6 6-3.

"I was a step or two away from each ball due to her aggressive play," Petkovic said. "I'm disappointed. I have to get used to playing so many matches and going further in tournaments. She played unbelievably at the end of the first set."

"It was a high-level match. Either of us could have won," Mattek-Sands said. "Andrea has been playing great and she's a cool person, but it was sweet revenge for our meeting at the US Open. I was planning to rush her because if she has time, she rips the ball. Kvitova is very confident at the moment and she'll be going for her shots. I'm going to play my game and be aggressive."


Carlos said...

I wanted to see the match against Kvitova and Wicki, Wicki, Wicki, I thought it was going to be war. It was! Too bad I missed it. :(

I'm surprise Bethanie won, Petko should had bagged this match. I was salivating for a possible Kvitova/Petko semifinal match. I'll give a slight edge to Bethanie because it looks like Kvitova spent too much energy battling pass Wicki, Wicki, Wicki.

Captain, by reading your article your Dokic got smoked. When it comes to tennis I never ask how the bagels taste because they always taste rotten to the loser and awesome to the winner. :P
Dokic might have run out gas physically and mentally coming through the qualies and defeating two opponents way ahead of her in the rankings. I'm hoping for more good things from Dokic this year. It was a great run for Dokic in this tourney.

I'm thinking Kim will take the title. I'm looking ahead -I hope it doesn't comeback and bite my buttocks again, because it hurts :P - if Kim reaches the final it would be her third final in a row this year; adding the USO title and YEC from last year it would be it would be her fifth final in a row. If she takes the title it would be her fourth in five finals. Clearly we could then say Kim is dominating the tennis world. This is personally the first time I've seen a tennis mom dominate the game of tennis. The only negative is that her top rival is out with injury. I don't like "Ifs" and I'm breaking I'm own rule by looking ahead, but the way Kim is playing I don't see anyone left in this tournament capable beating her. Maybe just maybe Kanepi.

Blair said...

Petko should have won, she has a bright future in tennis, and if it doesn't work out there is always dancing with the stars!

Carlos, Bethanie should also have an edge because of Petra's 3 hour or so 2nd round match as well!

Emily or as Carlos likes to call me "Captain" said...

Carlos, It would have been a great match to have seen!

Well Bathanie didn't quite use her "edge" ahahaha.

Yes Dokic had one of her famous "mental lapses" but this whole thing will be great for her, QF's back in the top 100, it might be just what she needs!

Its hard to go against Kim for the title!

Blair, ahaha, I love that, I can imagine Petko on dancing with the stars!

And yes, she did have two very very tough matches!

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