Final, final, final
March 15 2003
By Leighton Ginn
The Desert Sun
INDIAN WELLS -- The kitchen at the Pacific Life Open will need to keep the pasta stocked and the broccoli fresh for another two days after Kim Clijsters defeated Conchita Martinez 6-3, 6-2 on Friday in the semifinals of the Pacific Life Open.
After her victory, Clijsters admitted to being superstitious, eating a recurring lunch of broccoli, pasta with a little tomato sauce and garlic.
It’s one of several superstitions Clijsters has. Among others, Clijsters said, are going to bed at the same time to sitting on the same couch.
"It can get really bad sometimes," Clijsters said, laughing. "I tell myself, ‘Kim, this is becoming a joke. It’s getting bad.’
"I’m not going to say all the things I do because you’ll think I’m crazy otherwise. Just a few things here and there before the match."
Whatever Clijsters has been doing, it’s been working. Sunday will be Clijsters’ third consecutive championship match following Antwerp and Scottsdale.
"She’s playing great tennis, she’s one of the great players out there," Martinez said. "She was playing at a high level and she did no wrong."
And Clijsters played well against Martinez, a player she struggled with in the past.
Martinez used an array of spins and lobs Friday, which can test a player’s patience.
"She’s got so much experience, I’m sure that’s the way she’s turned a lot of matches around in her career," Clijsters said. "I knew that I had to stay focused and just focus on myself. Whenever she was taking some more time or waiting to get another ball or taking a timeout, I knew that I just had to focus on myself and not make those easy mistakes like I did in the first three points.
"I had to rally and just choose the right ball to finish it off."
Martinez said she was happy with her semifinal showing and is optimistic for the rest of the year.
"I feel like I’m coming back to the high level I’ve played," the 30-year-old Martinez said. "That’s not easy when you’re playing 15, 16 years. It’s a great tournament, and I have to pick it up, and when I play these matches, pick it up to get closer and maybe win some of these."