Kim Clijsters returns to WTA Tennis tour with a win in Cincinnati
Kim Clijsters upset Marion Bartoli 6-4, 6-3 in the first round of the Cincinnati Open. This was Clijster’s first match in 28 month.
“I’m really excited playing my first match,” Clijsters said. “I’ve been training since the start of February, and I’ve always been focused on Cincinnati. Winning my first match feels good.”
Clijsters, who retired in May 2007 and gave birth to a daughter in February 2008, will next play against Patty Schnyder, who defeated Gisela Dulko 6-4, 6-0.
Clijsters looked good even before she started playing, according to Serena Williams.
“I look like I had a kid more than she does,” Williams said earlier in the day. “She looks amazing.”
Bartoli would have preferred playing the unfamiliar opponent later in the tournament, she said.
“It was very difficult to expect anything,” she said. “I haven’t seen her in two years. That’s the reason I didn’t start well. I was trying to figure out what she was doing instead of playing my game. By the time I figured out her tactics, I was down 0-4. It’s just a really bad draw, I guess.”
Mixing sharply angled groundstrokes that kept Bartoli on her heels with deft drop shots and solid serving, Clijsters showed no traces of rust while winning 12 of the first 15 points on her way to a 4-0 lead in the first set, breaking Bartoli at love in the second game.
“I thought I started off really well,” said Clijsters, making her first career appearance in Cincinnati. “Maybe I surprised myself a little bit with that start. I felt like my movement was good, but it could be better.”
Clijsters was unable to maintain her torrid pace, double-faulting on consecutive service game points while Bartoli was winning four straight games, but Clijsters regained enough momentum to close out the first. She had 14 winners to Bartoli’s two in the set.
Kim, fought back from 15-40 in the fifth game of the second set to hold serve for a 4-1 lead and from 0-40 to close out the match.
Information from Yahoo