30 Aug 2012


(30 AUGUST) Kim may be out of the singles event, but she still had to two evens to enjoy her last moments as a professional tennis player. Here's what you need to know!

Kim and Kirsten (Flipkens) have been defeated in the 1st round of the US Open women's doubles event. The pair Chuang/Zhang proved too strong and prevailed in straight sets 6-3 6-4.

Kim's very last event will be the US Open mixed doubles. Our Kimmie is teaming up with Bob Bryan and they will play their 1st round match against Falconi/Johnson tomorrow (Friday) in the last match on Court 17.


(29 AUGUST) So this is it. Kim has just played her final professional singles tennis match. In the 2nd round of the US Open, Laura Robson proved too strong and defeated Kim in straight sets 7-6(4) 7-6(5).

Early in the match, Kim seemed ready to advance comfortably after racing to a 4-1 lead in the first set. Robson, however, had other ideas for the Belgian after the athletic game of Kim began to break down slightly. While serving for the set at 5-3, the Belgian faltered allowing Robson back into the match.

She wouldn’t win a game until 5-all on her serve as Robson’s movement improved and the Brit’s power game proved on par with Kim’s.

The Brit next took the match into a tiebreak and, after saving three set points, converted her first opportunity to grab a lead her first break point with help from a Kim return error. 

In the second set, however, the Belgian would take the lead early on with help from faults from the Robson serve. On her own serve a game later, Kim struck a double fault of her own to donate back a game.

A tight battle between the two women ensued soon after, with Robson ultimately earning two match points on Kim's serve at 6-5. The Belgian, however, summoned the form that earned her so many titles in a celebrated career to get to a second set tiebreak in which she saved two first match points. Ultimately, however, Kim faltered after Robson's serve forced a mistake from the Belgian's backhand wing.

Despite the end to her singles career, Clijsters will still play in both the doubles and mixed doubles events.

'I just want to thank Kim for being such a good role model for me for so many years', Robson said in her on-court interview straight after the match. 'It was an absolute pleasure to play against you.'

'This feels like the perfect place to retire, I just wish it wasn't today', Kim said. 'I gave it my all today and it just wasn't good enough at the end of the match. But I'm still in doubles and mixed doubles.'
'Since I came back it's been a great adventure for me, my team and my family, and it has all been worth it, but I'm excited for the next part of my life.'

'In the first hour after the match there was still disappointment and a little bit of frustration. I still had that routine of going through the match and trying to figure out how to do it better next time. But after thinking about the retirement in singles, I'm happy. The last year and a half or even two years have been kind of up and down, and I'm happy I stuck through it and lived a lot of these emotions I've had. I'm kind of proud of myself in a way that I was able to do that.'

'Even moments like today where I'm able to save those match points, those are definitely moments that are fun to have, fighting for it when you're not playing your best, playing with your back against the wall and still finding a way to come back and play well.'

'I knew before I stepped on court I would have to play well. I've practiced with Laura at Wimbledon – we had a really good practice, and I told my team she hits the ball so clean. Today she moved really well and anticipated really well. If she gets better physically and even more explosive, she's going to be a great player, and someone I'll be watching and keeping an eye on.'
'The words she said on court after the match were so nice. I got a little bit emotional there. It was nice to hear those things from another player.'

Kim will however be back on court as soon as today as she plays her women's doubles 1st round match with Kirsten Flipkens. They'll play the pair Chuang/Zhang in the second match on Court 4, so not before 12.30pm, local time.

28 Aug 2012


(28 AUGUST) Kim closed the first act of her final US Open curtain call with an authoritative 6-3 6-1 win over 16-year-old WTA newcomer Victoria Duval in 51 minutes on Monday night.

This is Kim's 22nd straight win at Flushing Meadows, and she is looking to claim her fourth US Open crown before officially retiring after the tournament. 

Little did Duval know when she won the USTA Girls' 18s National Championships, her automatic wild card entry would earn her a night on tennis's biggest stage, across the net from one of the players she looked up to as a kid. Despite her youth, the young American put up a good fight to start the match, taking a 3-2 lead shortly after conceding the first two games of the set.

But whether it was the nerves of playing under the lights of Arthur Ashe Stadium, or the sheer power and experience of Kim's game, Duval couldn't seem to handle the pressure after that and dropped the first set. Kim followed up with a clean second set, giving up only one game en route to securing a spot in the 2nd round.

Kim put on quite a show with 23 winners, compared to the lone winner Duval was able to strike against the veteran.

Playing against an opponent 13 years her junior, the Belgian admitted it brought back memories of her beginning years on the WTA Tour, and she saw a lot of potential in the young Duval's future on tour, as well.

'I had moments when I was younger when I played Steffi at Wimbledon and she was my big idol', she said. 
'So, yeah, it kind of takes you back through a lot of emotions and memories. I was talking to her before the match. It was nice in a way to get a feeling of the atmosphere from her side. I just told her, you know, that we've all been there and it's great to have these opportunities. I look forward to kind of keeping an eye on her in the future.'
When all was said and done, it was Duval who gained a new fan, as Kim asked to take a photo with her after the match. 
'It's a great memory for me as well to be in the position that I was in, playing somebody who followed me for most of my career. That has not really happened, I don't think, so it was nice in a way.'

In the 2nd round, Kim will play against Laura Robson. Their match will be the 3rd one tomorrow (Wednesday) on Arthur Ashe Stadium, and should not start before 3pm, local time.

adapted from www.usopen.org

23 Aug 2012


(23 AUGUST) The US Open women's draw has been revealed and here is what it looks like for Kim (based on the opponents she is more likely to face):

 1st • DUVAL
 2nd • ROBSON
 3rd • LI
 4th • STOSUR

You can have a look at the whole draw here.

Kim's 1st round match against Duval will be the first night session match on Monday, and should start around 7pm, local time.

In the women's doubles event Kim will team up with fellow Belgian and friend Kirsten Flipkens. They will meet Chuang/Zhang in the 1st round.

You can have a look at the women's doubles draw here.

In the mixed doubles event Kim and Bob Bryan will play the American pair Falconi/Johnson.

Click here for the full mixed doubles draw.

21 Aug 2012


(21 AUGUST) The last Grand Slam tournament of the year is just around the corner, but in the meantime let's take a sneak peak at Kim's US Open 2012 kit. Once again some great work by the Fila team to give Kim a nice outfit for what will be her final professional tournament.

These are presumably the day (and night) outfits:

The bigger stars with a tennis ball on the inside stand for Kim's 4 Grand Slam titles. The other bigger stars represent Kim's 11-year partnership with Fila.

To celebrate Kim's very last tennis outfit with Fila, let's have a look at some of the most memorable Fila kits Kim has worn over the years.

2 Aug 2012


(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.

1 Aug 2012


(1 AUGUST) Kim is through to the London 2012 Olympics quarters after defeating Ana Ivanovic 6-3 6-4.

Make no mistake, Kim is a gold medal contender at London 2012. The Belgian has been plagued by injuries of late, but she seems to be back to her best on the grass courts and is through to the quarterfinals at the Olympic Tennis Event without dropping a set.

Following wins over Roberta Vinci and Carla Suarez Navarro in the opening two rounds, Kim booked her place in the last eight by defeating former world No. 1 Ana Ivanovic 6-3 6-4 on Wednesday.

Our four-time Grand Slam champion served impeccably throughout the match and offered just two break point opportunities to Ivanovic, the No. 11 seed, neither of which were converted. At the other end, one break in each set was enough for the 29-year-old mother-of-one to wrap up victory in 58 minutes.

In tricky conditions on No. 18 Court, Kim started well and broke in the fourth game to edge ahead. With grey clouds brewing overhead, the world No. 36 just managed to clinch the first set before rain forced the players off court.

When they returned, Kim dodged two break points on her opening serve and then, adding salt to the wound, immediately broke the Serb in the next game. That was all the advantage she needed and proceeded to serve out the match with ease.

'I think the conditions were tough today, going on and off court. I managed to stay focused, even when I won the first set, when we had to go back inside', said Kim, who is making her Olympic debut at London 2012. 'It didn't feel easy. At this stage of the tournament, you have to fight and you have to play some of your best tennis, and I did. I felt like I was doing a lot of good things out there today, and served a little bit better at important points. So overall I'm very pleased.'

Kim has already announced this will be her penultimate tournament as a professional tennis player, with her final appearance coming at the US Open in a few weeks, but she insists that doesn’t change her mind-set when she takes to the court.

'It's actually surprisingly easy', she explained. 'I'm here to play tennis and that's what I'm focusing on. I don't think about it being finished. For the last 17, 18 years, I've been focusing on my matches. I'll do that until I play my last match. I think that routine and that rhythm is there automatically. So it doesn't change anything. When I came here to Wimbledon a few weeks ago, you take your time to take a lot of things in. You think about things a little bit more, but once you're focused on your match, I mean, I don't think about that this is my second to the last tournament at all.'

The reward for Kim is a quarterfinal match-up with Roland Garros winner Maria Sharapova. The Belgian leads Sharapova 5-3 in their head-to-head count. Their match will be the last match on Centre Court tomorrow (Thursday), and should thus not start before 6pm, local time.