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Posts Tagged ‘kim clijsters’

Wimbledon Manic Monday Preview: Ladies

Posted by gauloises1 on June 28, 2010

And now for the distaff side.

Serena Williams v Maria Sharapova

H2H: 5-1

Strawberries-and-cream vs. upturned rose (apparently), one of these women has looked in devastatingly awesome form so far, and the other is Maria Sharapova. Admittedly Maria has won all her matches in straight sets, but the only one I’ve watched (against junior nemesis Barbora Zahlalova Strycova), she looked clumsy, sluggish and tentative. I’ve no doubt that she will get it up against Serena, but I still think this match might turn out to be a bit of a damp squib. Prediction: Serena in straights.

Winner to meet …

Na Li v Agnieszka Radwanska


H2H: 1-2

It’s been a quiet Wimbledon for both these ladies so far and I haven’t seen either of them play (although we all owe Na Li a vote of thanks for getting rid of Anastasia ‘toys so far out of the pram they have been adopted by other kind homes’ Rodionova). I’m going with Agnieszka, because her game works beautifully on grass and she’s a two-time quarterfinalist in SW19. Prediction: Radwanska in three.

Caroline Wozniacki v Petra Kvitova

H2H: 2-0

Kvitova has had one of the most eye-catching results at this tournament so far, coming back from a break down in the first to not just defeat but bagel Victoria Azarenka (oh, Vika). That will have given her a lot of confidence, but you can’t really bet against slow-and-steady Caroline, can you? Sadly. Prediction: Wozniacki in straights.

Winner to meet …

Klara Zakopalova v Kaia Kanepi

H2H: 0-1

There are some players that I just get irrationally annoyed when I see them win. These are two of them; Zakopalova because she’s got a sour expression on her face even when she’s winning, and Kanepi because you can never tell from tournament to tournament which one of her is going to turn up (and when it’s Good Kaia, she generally announces her presence by beating one or more of my favourites). However, both of them are on excellent mini-runs. Zakopalova has beaten Meusberger, Rezai and Pennetta; Kanepi, Sam Stosur, Edina Gallovits and Alexandra Dulgheru. On the basis that the former is a shade more impressive and I don’t really care, I’m going with Zakopalova. Prediction: Zakopalova in three. She won’t smile.

Kim Clijsters v Justine Henin

H2H: 12-12 (3-1 on grass)

The other match to look forward to, particularly if you’re one of those who bemoans the last few years in the WTA. Kim has cruised so far and looks in some ways ripe for an upset, while Justine has played as well as anyone in the tournament in her defeat of Nadia Petrova. Still, I think that Justine wants this too much and that, coupled with the changes she’s made to her game this year which still don’t seem to sit right, will cost her. Prediction: Kim in three.

Winner to meet …

Vera Zvonareva v Jelena Jankovic

H2H: 5-6

Vera has been quietly coming through in the bottom of the draw, largely unheeded with solid wins over unspectacular opponents until the third round when she demolished Yanina Wickmayer. The buzz is that she finally feels that she’s got her form back. JJ, meanwhile, after her win over Laura Robson, dropped a set to Aleksandra Wozniak and called the trainer after bagelling Alona Bondarenko. Not to mention that this court will be played on court 12, which JJ will need a helicopter or at least a team of Sherpas to find. Prediction: Zvonareva in two.

Tsvetana Pironkova v Marion Bartoli

H2H: 0-3

Every Slam I reckon there has to be one round-of-sixteen match-up which makes you go, “… how did this happen?”. This is mine. Er, Pironkova beat Dushevina who beat Schiavone, and Bartoli is a former finalist, so …. I don’t even know. Prediction: Bartoli in straights.

Winner to meet …

Jarmila Groth v Venus Williams

H2H: 0-0

It’s been a very nice tournament for the adorable Jarmila. Shame it’s over. Prediction: Venus in straights.

So that’s what I think. What do you reckon ..?

Posted in agnieszka radwanska, caroline wozniacki, jarmila groth, jelena jankovic, justine henin, kaia kanepi, kim clijsters, klara zakopalova, li na, maria sharapova, marion bartoli, petra kvitova, serena williams, tsvetana pironkova, venus williams, vera zvonareva, wimbledon | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Eastbourne: Love is a Battlefield

Posted by gauloises1 on June 15, 2010

Some interesting results from a tournament so loaded it is traditionally total carnage. First up, Aravane Rezai beat Caroline Wozniacki in the Battle of the New Outfits:

Wozniacki’s loss, as defending champion, will put JJ up to no. 3 next week, I hear.

Things did not go a lot better for the almost identically-named Aleksandra Wozniak, who lost in straight sets to plucky young thing Heather Watson in the Battle of Being Nearly the Sole Hope of Your Nation:

C’mon Tim!

The Battle of the Belgians was won by Kim Clijsters in emphatic style, downing the somewhat floundering Yanina Wickmayer 61 61 after returning from her foot injury:

Francesca Schiavone followed in the footsteps of last year’s French Open champion, Svetlana Kuznetsova, in losing in the first round, bundled out by Sorana Cirstea in the Battle of Career Highs at Roland Garros:

Sveta herself, meanwhile, survived the Battle of the Russians, beating Alisa Kleybanova 46 75 62. Then she announced she was playing doubles with Rezai at Wimbledon via twitter. That whacky Sveta.

In younger generation news, Victoria Azarenka took out Agnieszka Radwanska in the Battle of Can I Get Past the Wimbledon Quarters This Year? No:

But she does have amazing hair.

And in the Battle of the Careers Plagued By Injury, Elena Baltacha was left standing for once as Li Na, probably exhausted from her efforts in Edgbaston last week, retired after winning the first set, 76(6):

And that was your WTA wackiness for the day.

Meanwhile, on the ATP side, James Ward and Feliciano Lopez duked it out fiercely to see who could confound expectations the most. Ward looked to have an unassailable lead on that front, as he stunned everyone by not only winning the first set but going up a break in the second. Not to be outdone, however, Lopez abruptly retired at 4-5 down, denying Ward the chance to explode spectactularly when serving for it. A Pyrrhic victory at best, one feels.

ATP – Tuesday’s Results

Singles – Second Round
[5] G Garcia-Lopez (ESP) d F Fognini (ITA) 62 62
I Marchenko (UKR) d [6] H Zeballos (ARG) 76(2) 63

Singles – First Round
[1] N Almagro (ESP) d L Kubot (POL) 75 76(3)
[WC] J Ward (GBR) d [2] F Lopez (ESP) 63 54 ret. (shoulder)
Y Lu (TPE) d K Beck (SVK) 64 64
R Schuettler (GER) d A Golubev (KAZ) 62 63

Doubles – First Round
[2] M Fyrstenberg (POL) / M Matkowski (POL) d L Friedl (CZE) / D Vemic (SRB) 76(4) 62
[4] S Aspelin (SWE) / P Hanley (AUS) d R Hutchins (GBR) / J Kerr (AUS) 63 63
J Benneteau (FRA) / M Llodra (FRA) d [WC] J Delgado (GBR) / D Inglot (GBR) 62 62
L Mayer (ARG) / H Zeballos (ARG) d M Emmrich (GER) / A Siljestrom (SWE) 76(4) 62

WTA – Tuesday’s Results

Singles – First Round
Aravane Rezai (FRA) d. (1) Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) 64 16 63
Sorana Cirstea (ROU) d. (2) Francesca Schiavone (ITA) 75 63
Victoria Azarenka (BLR) d. (4) Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) 76(2) 61
(5) Kim Clijsters (BEL) d. Yanina Wickmayer (BEL) 61 61
(Q) Ekaterina Makarova (RUS) d. (6) Flavia Pennetta (ITA) 76(5) 61
(WC) Elena Baltacha (GBR) d. (7) Li Na (CHN) 67(6) ret. (left thigh injury)
Nadia Petrova (RUS) d. (Q) Karolina Sprem (CRO) 26 75 76(4)
Zheng Jie (CHN) d. Shahar Peer (ISR) 16 61 63
(Q) Heather Watson (GBR) d. (Q) Aleksandra Wozniak (CAN) 63 62
(WC) Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS) d. Alisa Kleybanova (RUS) 46 75 62

Doubles – First Round
(1) Huber/Martínez Sánchez (USA/ESP) d. Gallovits/Petrova (ROU/RUS) 62 64
Ruano Pascual/Shaughnessy (ESP/USA) d. (WC) Keothavong/South (GBR/GBR) 64 36 107
Black/Hantuchova (ZIM/SVK) d. Amanmuradova/Voracova (UZB/CZE) 63 63
Chan/Zheng (TPE/CHN) d. Dushevina/Makarova (RUS/RUS) 75 06 108
Grandin/Spears (RSA/USA) d. Chuang/Govortsova (TPE/BLR) 76(1) 60

Posted in aravane rezai, caroline wozniacki, eastbourne, elena baltacha, feliciano lopez, francesca schiavone, heather watson, james ward, kim clijsters, sorana cirstea, victoria azarenka | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

… On Second Thoughts, Maybe Not

Posted by gauloises1 on May 10, 2010

If you’ve ever really wanted to give yourself diabetes, check out this video of US tennis stars (and Kim) on what is apparently Mother’s Day, everywhere except the UK.

Although it did remind me of this. Which was kind of sweet.

Posted in video | Tagged: , , , , | 7 Comments »

Fed Cup: Slightly Unconvincing

Posted by gauloises1 on April 26, 2010

Bless the Belgian Fed Cup team. One big happy family …

… that like most families, slightly hates each other:

Posted in fed cup, justine henin, kim clijsters, kirsten flipkens, yanina wickmayer | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

The Pains of Being Patriotic At Heart

Posted by gauloises1 on April 26, 2010

Tough gig, Fed Cup, if you’re injured. Jelena Jankovic played on an injured left wrist and lost both her second singles match to Daniela Hantuchova and the deciding doubles.

Kim Clijsters beat Maret Ani in straight sets on Saturday but suffered a foot injury that was later revealed to be a torn muscle which could keep her out for up to six weeks, potentially jeopardising her appearance at Roland Garros.

And Justine Henin, benched for Saturday with a broken little finger, stepped up for Sunday’s singles only to lose in three to a determined Kaia Kanepi.

Get well soon, ladies.

Posted in fed cup, jelena jankovic, justine henin, kim clijsters | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Fed Cup Play-offs: Results

Posted by gauloises1 on April 26, 2010

Belgium 3 – 2 Estonia

6-4  6-2
6-2  4-6  6-1
6-7(6)  6-4  6-3
2-6  6-1  6-1
2-6  6-4  6-3

Ukraine 0 – 5 Australia

0-6  6-3  7-5
6-3  6-0
7-6(4)  6-3
2-6  6-2  7-5
6-2  6-7(2)  6-1

Germany 2 – France 3

6-3  6-2
2-6  6-3  6-0
6-1  7-6(2)
7-6(4)  6-4
6-3  6-1

Serbia 2 – Slovakia 3

7-6(5)  6-3
6-2  6-2
7-6(2)  7-5
6-1  7-6(4)
6-4  6-3

Posted in fed cup | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Miami: “Kimpressive”, To Quote Brad Gilbert

Posted by gauloises1 on April 5, 2010

Kim Clijsters d. Venus Williams, 62 61

This match took 58 minutes. That’s probably all you need to know. It was also the only match I got to see in the latter stages on either side, so you can guess it was kind of a letdown. Kim was very impressive; Venus was terrible, although it’s hard to tell how much her knee injury played into that, especially as she was her usual communicative self in her presser:

Q.  Your power is a great asset.  With the clay coming up there’s a premium on consistency.  Is that a concern with your groundstrokes at this stage?
 VENUS WILLIAMS:  Should it be a concern of mine?

 Q.  Well, that’s up to you to answer.  Depends how well you felt you were hitting it.
 VENUS WILLIAMS:  I was just wondering what you thought.

 Q.  Well, overall.
 VENUS WILLIAMS:  Overall, I believe in me and my game.  So no matter what the surface, I’m ready to play.

Thanks for that. So Kim nabs her second and biggest title of the year and goes some way to regaining the momentum lost after her Australian Open defeat, Venus is fine or possibly not, we’ll never know, and still nobody’s sure what the narrative really is this season. Business as usual in the WTA. And congratulations to Kim.

Posted in kim clijsters, miami, titlists, venus williams | Tagged: , | 4 Comments »

Miami: Someone Teach These Ladies How To Fake It

Posted by gauloises1 on April 3, 2010

Kim and Justine played another three-set epic in the semifinals of Miami, with Kim eventually triumphing 62 67(3) 76(6). Apparently it was something of a clusterfuck. Much like this hug.

Seriously. Pick a side and go for it.

Posted in justine henin, kim clijsters, miami | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

A Collective Noun of Belgians

Posted by gauloises1 on March 30, 2010

Justine Henin and Kim Clijsters joined Yanina Wickmayer in the quarterfinals last night after solid wins over Vera Zvonareva and defending champion Victoria Azarenka respectively.

And speaking of Justine, Kim and Yanina (see how smoothly I did that?), I thought this was pretty interesting from The Times on the relationship between the three, Yanina and Fed Cup and Kim’s changing dynamic with the press:

There is plenty of news and conflict to occupy Belgian nibs. […] But what is convulsing them more are the latest twists in the relationship between Justine Henin, Kim Clijsters and Yanina Wickmayer, the women ranked, respectively, No 33, No 16 and No 14 on the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour. There was a frisson when Henin and Clijsters crossed rackets and their contests were always vivid for more than simply to discover who would be the better player, for Henin is from the French-speaking quarter, while Clijsters is Flemish through and through. Having Wickmayer in the mix has added more than a dash of spice to the story.

The choice of Henin and Clijsters as the No 1 and No 2 picks for the Fed Cup team to play against Estonia in a month’s time has angered Yanina’s father Marc, who, with some justification, thinks his daughter deserves to be one of the two singles players. He has said he does not want Yanina to attend just to be the water carrier.

Further piquancy is provided in that, during Henin’s ‘retirement’ from the sport, M. Wickmayer attempted to persuade Carlos Rodriguez, her coach since childhood, to come and work with his daughter. Rodriguez spent some time with Wickmayer but decided not to work with her full time, much to the Wickmayers’ disgust. There are rumours of legal comebacks. But there was a sizeable get-out for Rodriguez the moment that Henin announced said she would return to the tour, as she did in January. Rodriguez was not going to work for anyone else.

All three girls have a remarkable story to relate. Henin’s travails against the backdrop of the premature death of her mother, family splits, recriminations and reconciliations, her marriage and divorce, are part of the sport’s folklore. Clijsters, so happy-go-lucky by comparison, was a committed competitor, before she decided to stop playing, had a daughter, lost her father and mentor, Leo, to cancer, returned to the tour and won the US Open in fairytale style.

Wickmayer is a no less driven character, having lost her mother at the age of nine after which her father uprooted from Belgium and landed in America, building a new life. Suddenly, late last year she discovered that her name was high among those who had missed targeted doping dates. She left for the Australia circuit in 2009 and was supposed to fill out her whereabouts forms for the Flemish anti-doping authorities but thought they were only for top 50 players, which she was not at the time. That was an initial violation. As she was away from home for a long period, letters sent to her reminding her of her liabilities under the anti-doping programme were returned to the sender. The same thing happened again later in the year – three strikes and she faced a year-long suspension.

She had never missed a doping control on site, had never tested positive and here she was – out of the game for a period that could have seriously damaged her career. “There was ten years of hard work to get me to No 16 in the world and it was all being taken from me,” she said. “I don’t know whether that was humane for them, but it wasn’t for me. I could only practise, but with no purpose. I was only 19, I didn’t know all the rules, and if I could not have played for a year, I didn’t know how I would react.”

Eventually, the court’s ruling was overturned and Wickmayer was allowed to continue, to where she has become the highest-ranked of the trio. Nonetheless, given her father is such a strong character, expect more of the current frictions to continue.

And even Clijsters is not – according to the Net Post’s colleagues in the Belgian press – as affable and approachable as she used to be. She does not relish it when they come to watch her practise, their time with her is limited, they do not get the kind of access to her current coach, Wim Fissette, as they did to her previous coaches, Carl Maes and Marc Dehous, both of whom now work on Belgian TV. They are more than a touch rattled by that.

Interesting times.

Posted in fed cup, justine henin, kim clijsters, miami, yanina wickmayer | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

Like the Oscars, But More Meaningful

Posted by gauloises1 on March 25, 2010

The 2010 Sony Ericsson WTA Player Awards were given out yesterday in Miami, with Serena picking up Player of the Year; Serena and Venus jointly taking Doubles Team/Fan Favourite Doubles Team of the Year; Kim Clijsters nabbing Comeback and Sportsmanship, Yanina Wickmayer taking Most Improved, Melanie Oudin Newcomer of the Year, and Elena Dementieva winning Fan Favourite Singles Player of the Year.

Meanwhile, Horacio Zeballos picked up the ATP award for Breakthrough of the Year, or something along those lines. I don’t know, I just like looking at his gentle eyes.

I feel like he would gently stroke your hair. For hours. Without being asked.

Posted in elena dementieva, kim clijsters, melanie oudin, miami, serena williams, venus williams, WTA, yanina wickmayer | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »