What's wrong with Kim?
Amelie seems to have her number.
Three years ago, or even one year ago, Kim owned Amelie and the balance of their head-to-head this year would have been unthinkable. She was steadier, marginally quicker, although both are extremely fast, and more powerful. It seemed Amelie had no weapons with which to hurt Kim.
Kim's just not been the same player this year. She's still basically very good, but she's not as competitive. There's an edge that has been blunted. Injuries have worn her down mentally as well as physically. And, of course, she's probably placing herself under too much pressure to be successful before her self-imposed deadline.
I have a feeling she will extend. I really cannot believe she will walk away from the game at 24 with so much potential unfulfilled. Maybe she needs to chat to Martina Hingis, Monica Seles or Jennifer Capriati. Or even Tracy Austin. If she waves goodbye to the game next year she will regret it -- even if she does become a mother.
There's also a resonance of, of all people, Britney Spears in Kim's plans. She has known some bloke five minutes and immediately she wants to settle down with him so that she can enjoy motherhood and possibly assuage an inner-emptiness which tennis cannot fill. Kim is a sociable, gregarious woman who was in a relationship from the age of seventeen, so being single was probably difficult for her. And even in a relationship, there can still be loneliness, particularly in the lifestyle she has pursued. She probably feels that a baby will rectify all that.
But I just feel that in a few years' time, as many mothers will tell you, Kim will feel trapped and regretful if she embarks on the course she has been contemplating. Almost no mother would trade their children in, but women have burning desires too, and children will not always smother them.