Jan. 20 • It's under the Australian sun that Kim has qualified for the 4th round of the Australian Open, after defeating Alizé Cornet 7-6(3) 6-3.
Great players find a way to win, even when they're not having their best day on the court. And that's just what third seed Kim did today.
'You never play a whole tournament playing your best tennis. And you have to also, you know, work for it. I think that's what I had to do today', said Kim after the match.
Birthday girl Cornet would have been hoping for a gift from the likeable Kim, but it was the Frenchwoman who dropped serve, gifting the Belgian the opening game of the match.
Early on, Kim looked as if she was going to sweep Cornet aside and race into the fourth round in double time. But after opening up a 3-1 lead, Kim's crown slipped a little as she started to miss, regularly.
The break back came in the sixth game as a pumped up Cornet levelled the set. Not to be outdone, the World No.3 broke straight back to reclaim her advantage.
Serving for the set at 5-4, some loose play from the Belgian kept Cornet's hopes of an upset alive. A forehand volley into the net from Kim giving Cornet a sniff, and not long after the Frenchwoman had the break back.
Inevitably the set ended in a tiebreak, with Kim coming out on top - too many errors from Cornet's racquet as the more experienced Kim kept her cool under pressure.
Clijsters had to wait for the fourth game to get the break after Cornet hit a forehand long.
From there it was too hard for Cornet to come back, the 21-year-old tired as Kim did enough to chalk up the win. The Frenchwoman also spent a surprising amount of time on the ground; anyone wondering what to buy the Frenchwoman for her birthday would be well advised to get her some new shoes.
Clijsters will only take a few positives from this match ― the main one being she found a way to win despite not being at the top of her game. 41 unforced errors from Clijsters, compared with 25 from Cornet, was too many.
'I felt that I was building my points pretty well when I was in charge, but a couple times missed easier volleys, [I] felt that I could have maybe hit a drive volley and finished off the points a little bit sooner', said Kim.
The Belgian breathed a sigh of relief after the win but said she'll be having a serious practice session on Sunday morning to iron out the wrinkles that were evident in her game today in preparation for her 4th-round date with unseeded Russian Ekaterina Makarova, who upset 13th-seeded countrywoman Nadia Petrova.
'Tomorrow out on the practice court I'm going to try to hit a lot of balls, try to get that feel for it again, move better. Just little things that keep that rhythm or get the rhythm to where I want it to be.'