Two lost tiebreaks in the US Open second round against Laura Robson, 7-6(4) 7-6(5), and we’re, a bit surprisingly prematurely, saying goodbye to Kim Clijsters. If this was too fast a goodbye for you, let me tell you that Clijsters is out only from the singles competition. She’s playing women’s doubles with fellow Belgian Kirsten Flipkens, while in mixed doubles she’s paired with American Bob Bryan.
Moreover, the official farewell is yet to come. At the Diamond Games on December 12, in Antwerp, Belgium, there will be a celebration of Kim’s career, a night with top players, entertainment and surprises, while on the occasion the event will be called Kim’s Thank You Games.
Let’s get back to the match. Clijsters may have eased through the first round against Victoria Duval, but the second round against the youngest player in the Top 100 was far from a routine. Clijsters built an initial momentum of 5-2, but Robson worked her way back, saving three set points and winning the set in a tiebreak. In the second set, Clijsters fell 5-6 15-40 on her serve, saved two match point then, but again in the tiebreak Robson was better.
This completely feels like the perfect place to retire. I just wish it wasn’t today but there was no doubt in my mind to pick a tournament to play my last singles match.
With the 22-match winning streak prior to this loss to Robson, Clijsters is ranked second, after Chris Evert, in the list of the longest US Open winning streaks in the Open Era. Clijsters has won three US Open titles and the streak dates back to 2005. (photo: © Neal Trousdale)