USO Day 14: the Wildest Card Ever.
Kimmaculate, Kimpressive, Kimpossible.
Kim Clijsters beat Caroline Wozniacki 75 63 to take her second slam title – something that I didn’t think would ever happen. I expected Kim to do well, to get into the top 10 on her comeback, but to win a slam in her third tournament back?
Despite my praises of Clijsters’s newfound calmness on-court, she looked tense in the first few games of the fist set. Caroline was the one who got off to a quick start. But unlike on so many occasions in the first half of Kim’s career, she was able to steady herself. To manage her nerves.
Well.. that, along with the fact that she’s just in a different class to Wozniacki. CWoz has a long way to go before she can get her hands on some heavy silverware. A good slam for her though – coming through a decimated draw with a positive and stable mentality.
There’s been a chorus of “tsk task, what does this say about the WTA?” arising since the hour of her victory. I don’t want to get into it. There’s a time for celebrations and there’s a time for review. To take the moment away from Kim, who in her ernest celebrations touched more people than Venus, Serena or Maria Sharapova ever could, would be a travesty.
This is exactly what the WTA needed.
The extraordinary circumstances of her win is still sinking in for me now: 2 years away from the game, baby, family … yet Kim Clijsters came back fit, athletic, and calm. She came back to beat a string of top WTA players, and to take down both Venus and Serena – the standard bearers of quality in women’s tennis, en route to her title.
Her maturity, her support team and her newfound steadiness on-court compared to the first half of her career (and compared to Dinara & Co) are all positives we should be focusing on, rather than the cynical “pathetic field” argument.
A fitting fairy tale to end the US Open. I grudgingly admit I shed a tear. Don’t judge me.