Monday, June 28, 2010

Clijsters wins all-Belgian match at Wimbledon

The much-anticipated Wimbledon round of 16 match between Kim Clijsters and Justine Henin took place today, and Clisters advanced to the quarterfinals with a 2-6, 6-2, 6-3 victory. The match, however, did not live up to the expectations of some fans.

Clijsters struggled with her serve in the first set, was error-prone, and was easily broken. During that set, Henin fell and hurt her elbow, and received treatment for the injury at the first opportunity. After losing the first set, the 8th-seeded Clijsters adjusted her game and her serve, and reversed the score to take the second set.

At 4-all in the third, Clijsters broke the 17th seed and then successfully served for the match. She is now 3-0 against Henin since both returned to the tour.

4th seed Jelena Jankovic appeared on the court today with strapping on her thigh. She was having obvious trouble pushing off, and with opponent and 21st seed Vera Zvonareva leading 6-1, 3-0, Jankovic, after checking with a trainer, retired because her lower back had locked. She and partner Chanelle Scheepers gave their opponents, Gisela Dulko and Flavia Pennetta, a walkover in doubles.

Li Na defeated 7th seed Agnieszka Radwanska 6-3, 6-2, marking the first time the 9th seed has beaten Radwanska on a grass court. Tsvetana Pironkova upset 11th seed Marion Bartoli, 6-4, 6-4. This is the first time that Pironkova has beaten Bartoli; Bartoli has three wins against her, all on hard courts.

Qualifier Kai Kanepi advanced to the quarterfinals with a 6-2, 6-4 win over Klara Zakopalova.


TennisAce said...

After seeing these matches this morning Diane, who do you think will retire first, Justine or Kim. I say Kim. Know why, she has already started talking about having more children. She is done with the Tour already. I would be surprised if she plays a full season next year.

Justine. What more is there to say. This return to the Tour has not gone as planned. Can you say karma. She used to beat players like a drum in her first career. Now, she is getting beaten like a drum in her second career. This new style of play is just not for her. We are all used to her using the slices and variety. Now she is just becoming like most of the young ones on tour who have nothing but hit hard from the baseline.

Diane said...

Kim said just the other day that she didn't plan to be around too long. But we don't know what that means. A year? Two years? That comment makes me think she will retire first, but I'm not sure; consider how abrupt Henin's first retirement was....

migi said...

Zakopalova called trainer during her match with Kanepi

Diane said...

I missed that part. What happened to Klara?

migi said...

Have no idea, I saw on the photo Klara talking with trainer

Jen said...


I don't know which of Justine's matches you've been watching but she has most certainly not been "beaten like a drum" in her meetings with the top players in her second career. She lost twice to Kim the closest of possible matches -- holding match points but beaten 7-6 in the third. She took Serena to 3 sets in the Aussie Open final, her second event back. She beat Sharapova at the French, then came within a hair of taking control of the match she lost to Stosur deep in the 3rd set, with a wrapped finger and despite having played 5 days in a row due to rain and scheduling issues and with Sam playing lights out throughout. She has taken down Petrova, a top-10 player, three times in convincing fashion, and handled the likes of Jankovic and Wozniacki -- all since her comeback. Then today she was frankly running Clijsters off the court until she fell on her racket arm. Go back and watch Henin's shots, especially the speed and depth of her shots, prior to the injury and then afterwards -- day and night.

So say what you will, Justine has battled some bouts of bad luck rather heroically in the past few weeks. Much credit to Kim for pulling herself together today, but if Henin had not become lifeless after her fall I suspect that would not have mattered. Time is short, so this is certainly a setback, but don't expect Justine to walk away a second time unless injuries force matters. Fearless prediction: Justine will be World #1 again by this time next year.

TennisAce said...

Jen, the scores may not reflect it, but when you owned a player outright in your first career, and said player has now beaten you on 3 occassions, one of which is the biggest Major of them all, that is being beaten like a drum.

Whether the score is 7-6 in the third or 6-1, right now Kim has Justine's number. Justine needs to go back to what worked in v.1. This new game of hers which has been specifically done in order to win Wimbledon is the same as everyone else's. There is no variety in it any more. In the tough moments, you knew you could depend on her to pull out some really nice shots on the backhand, now she just goes for broke.

Players are no longer intimidated by variety and they are surely not intimidated by the name of the player across the net. Justine has to get her mental focus back or it will be a short v.2 of her career.

No. 1 again - surely you jest

Diane said...

Not to talk about Justine specifically...but I think there are players who are intimidated by variety because they don't know what to do with it. They haven't been taught how to use it or how to defend against it.