yeah it s seems like all aussies journalists are kinda m@f%^#" check this out ! i am amazed that people can write such b^*"#, i now realize how far America is...
'Our Kim' misses her cue to stop the Williams show
January 24 2003
By Alan Attwood
So here we go again. Another instalment in the all-skipping, all-swinging Williams sisters show. Serena Williams will play her big sister Venus in the Australian Open women's singles final tomorrow.
They last met in the US Open final and before that at Wimbledon, which came shortly after the French Open final. Serena won the lot.
She may well win again tomorrow, having made it her new year's resolution to win every match she plays this year. But that plan - not to mention her ambitions of completing a "Serena Slam" by claiming her first Australian Open title - were nearly scuppered late yesterday afternoon by Kim Clijsters, who is officially from Belgium but quite obviously an Australian. The centre court crowd have christened her "Kimmy" and also "Kimina". A large sign hung up in the stands, facing the Williams clan: "Go Kim. Wreck 'em", it read. And in her corner was the little battler, Lleyton Hewitt. He found himself in the odd position of urging his girlfriend (Our Kim) to knock out the world No. 1, just as he had been upset on the same court last Monday.
At 5.07pm it seemed about to happen: there would be an Australian element in the Open final after all. Clijsters came out to serve, leading 5-2. A few minutes later, she held match-point. She couldn't clinch it. Then she had another. Lost that one too. Then she lost the game. And also the next one.
At 5.18, still leading at 5-4, Clijsters tried again. As a brass band oompahed outside Rod Laver Arena and seagulls circled overhead, she started with a double-fault. Then she sent down another. She drew back to 30-all, just two points from victory, but there was now a ghastly inevitability to what was unfolding.
Clijsters sent a backhand long to drop her fourth game in succession. That became five in 20 minutes when Williams - who at 21 is a year younger than Venus; a year older than Clijsters - held serve comfortably to lead for the first time in the match, which had just ticked past the two-hour mark.
In the stands Hewitt sat forward, powerless to do anything at all. He could only watch as Williams sent two winners past Clijsters to have her reeling at 0-30. A wayward Clijsters backhand brought up three match-points for the American. She only needed one. Clijsters' last shot found the net.
Williams raised her hands high, letting her racquet fly free. She seemed more incredulous than exultant about her 4-6, 6-3, 7-5 victory. Smiling broadly, she turned to the stands and approached her mother and sister Venus, who had earlier dispatched another Belgian, Justine Henin-Hardenne, much more efficiently. Aussie Kim, meanwhile, was making a rapid exit from centre court. Having twice been a point away from her first final in Melbourne, she was now out of the tournament and, with any luck, also out of earshot as Serena gushed to the crowd: "I honestly don't know how I was able to win. I kept fighting, one point at a time, and the next thing I knew the match was over."
With any luck her excitement at her great escape distracted her from some boos among the polite applause from the crowd. These reflected both disappointment at the Clijsters collapse and dissatisfaction with a prolonged break the younger Williams took early in the deciding set to have some foot blisters treated. The only one who seemed to find nothing odd with this time-out (even referee Peter Bellenger wandered over for a look) was Clijsters. Blisters can be very painful, she said later. So can losing. But less than an hour after making her centre-court exit, Clijsters was smiling and talking freely, thus confirming her eligibility for a place in the pantheon of Glorious Aussie Losers.
The only thing she regretted about the last handful of games were double-faults at 5-4, only her third and fourth for the match.
Other than that, she said, she had kept trying but just was not quite good enough.
Winners are grinners, and Williams was doing a lot of grinning as she talked about staying positive, even when trailing 1-5. She had a scare yesterday, but she is through to tomorrow's final. Her opponent will be her doubles partner of yesterday evening, sister Venus. When her place in the singles final had been booked a few hours earlier, Venus had done her best skipping-girl impression and said: "It's s-o-o-o exciting . . . I'm s-o-o-o happy." The crowd will not be quite so happy to see the final such a family affair. Kim with kangaroo could have made a charming photo. Instead, Clijsters and Hewitt and everyone else can only look on as the sisters from Florida again confront each other.