(2 AUGUST) Kim's Olympic tournament has come to end today as the Belgian lost to Maria Sharapova 2-6 5-7 in the quarterfinals.
Kim’s career at the All England Club has finally drawn to a close. Playing for a spot in the Olympic tennis semifinals, there were all the hallmarks of a vintage Belgian performance. The do-the-splits slice forehand, the head down fist-pump, and all in all, that tireless desire to never give up.
But, as has sadly been the case ever since she won the Australian Open in 2011, her fourth Grand Slam singles title, injury and her opponents have conspired to make her task that bit too difficult.
Today’s was Maria Sharapova, who had been forced to play some of her best tennis to squeeze past first Laura Robson and then Sabine Lisicki. And she didn’t let up against Kim.
Breaking to start the match, Sharapova compensated for her 8 unforced errors with 10 winners, while Kim could only manage 4, and 11 unforced errors instead, four of them double faults. Although the Belgian fought back as the world No.2 served for the set, she couldn’t unpick Sharapova’s form, and the Russian took the set 6-2 after 39 minutes.
It continued to go Sharapova’s way in the second too, the Russian breaking for a 3-2 lead. But Kim proved she has life yet, breaking straight back. Hanging onto Sharapova’s skirt, Kim stayed with her till 5-5 in the second set. But it was then that the Russian turned the screw, breaking for 6-5, and serving out.
Thus there will be no fairytale Olympic medal for Kim. But she certainly gave it a fairly decent crack.
'I think overall she was the better player', Kim said. 'She served well and I think of all the matches that I've played against her this is the best that she's served, and on grass it's going to be tough to beat her.'
'It's a nice experience every time you go out on Centre Court so I'm happy to say that my last match at Wimbledon was on Centre Court.'
As of now, Kim's next tournament will also be her final one: the US Open. She might enter some preparatory event but that's not what's on the agenda right now.