Belgian Kim Clijsters may be playing her first Grand Slam since the 2007 Australian Open, but has quickly assured the world that she is the player to beat on the WTA Tour. Along with teenager Melanie Oudin, tennis mom Clijsters is marking the 2009 US Open, being unranked and playing only her third tournament after a two-year-long break.
After victories over seeds number 14 and 3, Marion Bartoli and Venus Williams respectively, Clijsters sent packing yet another seed, No.18 Li Na, and remarkably reached the semifinals of the Grand Slam she won in 2005. Clijsters beat Li 6-2 6-4 in 63 minutes.
Progressing to the final four, Clijsters has equaled Zheng Jie’s Wimbledon 2008 campaign – the best performance by a women’s wildcard in a Grand Slam. In addition, the former world No.1 Clijsters is expected to leap back into the Top 50.
Clijsters’ opponent in the semifinals will be holder Serena Williams or in-form Italian Flavia Pennetta. (photo: Stephane Martinache)