30 Jul 2012


(30 JULY) Kim is through to the London 2012 Olympics 3rd round after defeating Carla Suarez Navarro 6-3 6-3.

As a working mum it is little wonder Kim’s mind will wander from the job at hand occasionally, even if it is before the watchful eyes of an Olympic crowd.

Having secured the first set on her way to a relatively comfortable 6-3, 6-3 2nd round victory over Spaniard Carla Suarez Navarro on Monday, the Belgian strolled to the wrong end of the court ready to begin play again.

Realising her blunder, she quickly jogged to the opposite end, laughing off the matter and apologising to a crowd that cheered with approval once she had cottoned on.

It was one of few lapses for Kim during her one-hour 10-minute match on No.1 Court. She got her mind quickly back on the job to break Suarez Navarro in the opening game of the second set and fought back from 0-40 to consolidate the break for 2-0.

Consecutive double faults from the Spaniard’s racket handed Kim a buffer of a double break and just as well. After the Belgian held points for 5-0, Suarez Navarro lifted and Kim’s mind again wandered momentarily from the job.

She dropped serve after making a mess of a simple forehand volley put-away, allowing Suarez Navarro to take three games on the trot.

The revival was short-lived. Kim took the next two games to set up a 3rd round meeting with 11th seeded Serbian Ana Ivanovic on Wednesday. Their match will be played at 11.30 (local time) on Court 18.

'It will be a tough one. Ana is a good player, she's a good friend as well and we've been playing for many years', Kim said. 'Usually if I don't play her I root for her because I always want her to do well. We know each other pretty well and it's exciting to play each other in this kind of atmosphere. I'm going to enjoy this one.'

28 Jul 2012


(28 JULY) Kim's first Olympic Games have started with a win as she raced through her opening round London 2012 match in just over an hour, defeating Italian Roberta Vinci 6-1, 6-4.

Kim gave Belgium plenty to cheer about on Day One of the London 2012 Olympics. On No.2 Court, the Belgian drew first blood against the Italian, breaking for 3-1 before holding confidently for 4-1.

Vinci – a player more than competent at net – attempted to serve-volley at 30-30 to change the tone of the first set but the Belgian passed with ease, her forehand down the line bringing up break point, which she converted when Vinci’s drop shot landed short.

With the winners beginning to flow from Kim’s forehand down the line, she sealed the first set 6-1 in 25 minutes.

Breaking immediately to commence the second set, she looked well in control only to slip after being wrong-footed to hand the break of serve straight back.

Serving for the match at 5-4, a fleeting bout of Olympic nerves set in as Kim opened with a double fault before handing Vinci two break points.

She steadied and when a Vinci backhand sailed long Kim had her first match point.

It would be the only chance she needed as finished the point off at net to book her 2nd round berth after 61 minutes.

'I'm very happy with how I was feeling and I played good, solid tennis. I just had to be very focused', Kim said. 'My tactical plan was to try not to let her get into the match where she can play with the opponent. She moves them around and it was up to me to stay on top of my baseline and not give her the opportunity to do that.'

'The Olympic spirit is like a virus, it spreads', Kim said. 'When you see all the other athletes from your country and the people who follow it, it's hard not to get into it. The Olympic sport in general is so unique, and you can hear that when someone like Roger (Federer) talks about it. He has won so many Grand Slams but he wants a gold medal in the singles because he hasn't won that.'

In the 2nd round, Kim will face Carla Suarez Navarro.

26 Jul 2012


(26 JULY) The London 2012 Olympics women's singles draw has been revealed and here is what it looks like for Kim (based on the opponents she is more likely to face):

 1st • VINCI
 2nd • STOSUR

You can have a look at the whole draw here.

Kim's 1st round match against Vinci will be played on Saturday at 11.30am, local time.

2 Jul 2012


(2 JULY) Kim's last Wimbledon tournament has come to a rather brutal end today as she was bundled out of the 4th round in a most disrespectful fashion by Kerber 1-6 1-6.

The former world No.1, who has won three Grand Slam singles titles since returning to the tour after giving birth to her daughter Jada, has said many a time that Wimbledon was one of the tournaments that meant the most to her.

'It obviously all started I think from when I was a youngster, being at home even before I was a junior watching Wimbledon during summer holidays from Belgium, watching it on TV. You just kind of felt the magic coming through the television, I think. So that was kind of my first connection with Wimbledon', Kim said.
And then as I got older, when I was able to be here for the first time as a junior, it was just very special. I mean, I think the first year that I played here, I was here just to take it all in. I don't even think I was here to play tennis. I needed to just open my eyes and look at everything. It's so new. It was such, you know, an amazing thing. It was like to me this was like Disneyland to another child. So it was such a beautiful thing.
I think the next year or the year after I was able to make the finals here in juniors, and that was a very special moment. I was able to go to the Championship ball. Won doubles here.
So I have a lot of good memories, a lot of special memories also emotionally with my family and my with my dad. Yeah, it's a nice place to go back to every year.'

But the bubbly Belgian, for whom Wimbledon was also her father’s favourite, had never reached a final here at SW19, falling twice in the semi-finals, in 2003 and 2006.

Battling with an elbow injury on her return in 2010, and forced to miss the 2011 tournament with a foot injury, Kim may well have thought that there was something in the Wimbledon water that simply disagreed with her.

But 2012 had proved promising for the Belgian at Wimbledon. Skipping the French Open to make the best of her final year at SW19, Kim motored into the second week in the background of all the kerfuffle surrounding the Nadal, Federer and Murray late-night marathons.

Her opponent in the 4th round, however, may have lost in the first round here at The Championships last year, to Laura Robson, no less, but has some Grand Slam pedigree of her own, having reached the semi-finals at the US Open last year.

If Kerber was at all intimidated at the prospect of facing a four-time Grand Slam champion, she left any nerves at home in Germany, scorching through the first set for the loss of just one game in 22 minutes.

The second set was not any better for Kim, Kerber romping to a 5-0 lead before the Belgian finally got on the board. It was merely delaying the inevitable though, the German triumphing with just two games to Kim’s name.

'The way that she played today, you know, obviously this is the first time I ever played against her, but she played incredible. I think she played close to the perfect match', Kim said about Kerber. 'She was on every level just too good: served better, returned better, and just in the rallies was hitting the ball very deep, very fast on to the bounce, anticipating really good as well. It was too good. So I look forward to just watching her here obviously the rest of this tournament and just seeing her in the future, how she does against different players.'

But although she will not travel back to Belgium with a replica of the Venus Rosewater Dish to add to her trophy shelf, Kim insists she has no regrets about her history at Wimbledon.

'I won't be sorry about anything', she said. 'I mean, I know that every time that I've played here I've given my best, and that's the only thing that I can try. You know, some days it's good, some days it's great, and some days it's not good enough.And that's something that I'll never regret. I'll never say that I didn't work hard enough or I didn't practice hard enough. So I don't think I'll feel sorry about anything when I leave.'

She has a litany of memories to draw on too, including the time her father sat in the same seat for every match, come rain, wind or shine, and competing against Steffi Graf in her last Championships.

'Playing Steffi here was for me definitely one of my dreams come true as a young up‑and‑coming player. To be playing Steffi in her last Wimbledon was very, very special', Kim said.

It will not quite be the last match that the hugely popular Belgian plays at Wimbledon, for she will be back for the Olympics later this month, a source of some solace, perhaps. But at The Championships 2013, she will be sorely missed.

adapted from wimbledon.com