Yet again women’s tennis is proving that it’s pointless to make any sort of prediction – Kim Clijsters was one of the favorites for the title, and even though she wasn’t considered undefeatable, who would have thought she would lose in the second round to world No.114 Arantxa Rus of the Netherlands.
The 20-year-old Rus reached the third round of a Grand Slam for the first time, while Clijsters didn’t continue her Grand Slam winning streak of 15 matches which included the 2010 US Open and 2011 Australian Open titles. Also, Clijsters had been 31-0 in Grand Slams against players ranked outside the Top 100, and this is her worst result at Roland Garros since her debut at the tournament in 2000.
Final score of the match was 3-6 7-5 6-1. Clijsters committed 65 unforced errors, compared to Rus’ 22, and lost 9 of the last 10 games. However, the Belgian looked sharp early on, before the momentum shifted when she wasted two match points in the second set, one at 5-2 and one at 5-4.
Clijsters said that her ankle injury wasn’t responsible for the loss:
My ankle feels fine, that had absolutely nothing to do with it. If I felt like I wasn’t as ready as I would have liked to be, I wouldn’t have come here.
But, it’s still not fully clear to her what exactly happened in her head:
I’m still trying to figure it out. I felt like she was missing quite a lot in the beginning of the rallies, and I felt I was moving her around well from side to side. Then I started doubting a little bit. That’s definitely the wrong attitude to have, especially for me on clay. She obviously started building up more confidence, playing a lot better and putting me on my back foot all the time. I couldn’t really play my aggressive tennis anymore in that third set.