You know, I'm beginning to adore the journalists in the US for coming up with these awesome article titles
Clijsters California coasting
The Belgian has won eight career titles on the state's soil and hopes to add Acura next.
By JANIS CARR
CARLSBAD – Maybe it's the water, the Pacific Ocean that is. How else to explain Kim Clijsters' success in California?
The Belgian returned to the courts in March after a five-month layoff and claimed her second Pacific Open title at Indian Wells. She won the desert event in 2003, missed it the next year because of a wrist injury, then made a victorious comeback.
Then, after a disappointing clay season and mediocre Wimbledon, Clijsters headed west and kicked off her summer with a victory Sunday against Venus Williams in the Bank of the West Classic.
She didn't drop a set en route to claiming her third championship at Stanford and eighth career title on California soil.
"I love it. This is has been a trip that I have been looking forward to since I finished playing in Miami," Clijsters said in a chamber-of-commerce moment.
"I have always had a great time on the court as well as off the court here. I just feel comfortable here. I feel good, and there is nothing more you can wish for here."
Clijsters' wish list goes beyond sunny skies, sandy shores and hard courts, however. She is looking to add to her West Coast collection this week at the Acura Classic at the La Costa Resort & Spa, where she is seeded seventh.
She then will hit the road and play in the JPMorgan Chase Open in Carson.
"The tennis I've played here means so much more to me than the other tournament victories I've had so far," Clijsters said Monday. "I'm just happy where I'm at and that I'm feeling healthy."
The nagging injuries and lingering doubt are gone. Clijsters' wrist, shoulder, right knee and confidence are healthy, which is more than many players on the WTA Tour.
Several top players are on the disabled list, battling various injuries, making Clijsters a favorite to win her first Grand Slam tournament.
"We'll see what happens in the next few tournaments," said Clijsters, who has a 24-match winning streak in the United States. "There are still a few things I need to work on."
Clijsters said her success in March after a lengthy layoff to mend a serious left wrist injury that required surgery didn't surprise her. It's really not that unusual, she added.
Fellow Belgian Justine Henin-Hardenne won this year's French Open after missing much of the first five months because of several illnesses.
"Just because Venus and Serena (Williams) take so long, that's not everybody," Clijsters said. "I missed so much, that's what helped motivate me."
Clijsters, who will play Wednesday, appears to have moved on in her personal life after her public break-up with tennis player Lleyton Hewitt. For the past three months she has been dating a former Villanova basketball player who competes for a professional team in Belgium.
-- The Orange County Register