Interesting report on Clijsters/Jankovic match
the journalist is none too impressed with Jankovic's on court dramatics
Clijsters beats Jankovic and crowd in Sydney
By JACQUELIN MAGNAY - SMH | Saturday, 13 January 2007
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FIRE AND FOCUS: Kim Clijsters will go into the Australian Open in winning form after taking out the Sydney International tournament.
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Sydney's tennis favourite, Kim Clijsters, was sensationally booed and jeered at and then given a rapturous cheer as she staged a remarkable comeback to counter the powerful game of rising Serbian star Jelena Jankovic in the final of the Sydney International on Friday night.
World No. 5 Clijsters, appearing in her last match in Sydney having foreshadowed her retirement this year, won the controversial match 4-6 7-6 6-4 after Jankovic lost her composure in the last set amid a mass of disputed line calls. Both women were in tears after the two hour, 27 minute match: Clijsters just thrilled with her amazing win that adds to her 2003 Sydney victory, and Jankovic pondering what might have been.
Jankovic seemingly had control late in the second set, up 5-4 and serving for the championship, but she couldn't counter Clijsters's experience, and quickly slumped as close decisions went against her.
While there was so much drama on the court, the rowdy battle in the stands was also theatrical and tension-packed. Umpire Lynn Welch had to repeatedly call for quiet in the stands and reprimand the crowd about their unsporting antics, which had tennis observers upset on behalf of Clijsters.
A small section of the capacity crowd, dressed in Serbian football attire, was pro-Jankovic, and jeered Clijsters no matter whether the point was being won or lost.
Commentator Kerryn Pratt said: "The vocal minority don't understand the tennis etiquette."
But Jankovic, too, was at times pushing the barrier of sportsmanship. The Serb has the lip-glossed pout, and boy did she use it last night as her remarkable nine-match winning streak this year, which included victory at the Auckland tournament last week, came to a hasty finish.
There was a sense of "the madame" about the 21-year-old, and it seems only a matter of time before she accumulates a string of trophies and becomes one of the most controversial figures in the game.
Jankovic questioned several calls, had a small spat with a ball boy, and glared fiercely at a lineswoman who had recanted a call. And on a couple of calls she disagreed with she ran her hand in front of her face as if to say "you can't see".
The non-Serbian element of the crowd, many of whom had started with a neutral view, quickly switched to support Clijsters, whose calm demeanour and classy play has attracted strong support from Australians ever since she started dating former boyfriend Lleyton Hewitt.
Jankovic began to lose her cool during the tie-breaker in the second set. She double faulted three times, and then with five break points to save, she inexplicably failed to respond to Clijsters's return of serve, thinking she had again served a fault.
Clijsters had come back from 5-4 down and was so thrilled at winning the set she clenched her fist and screamed "c'mon". Clijsters then shot ahead 4-0 in the third set, eventually wrapping it up 6-4.