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post #16 of 131 (permalink) Old Jan 13th, 2008, 12:41 PM
 
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Re: 2008 Kim articles, news

Aww.
I miss both Kim and Martina.
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post #17 of 131 (permalink) Old Jan 21st, 2008, 07:44 PM
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Re: 2008 Kim articles, news

I was searching the internet and somehow fell upon this article. It's a bit old. But it's a great article.

Clijsters has right genes to fashion bright future
NEW FACES FOR 2000 Belgium's precocious teenager has already revealed outstanding tennis talent among rising generation
By John Roberts
Published: 05 January 2000

At the height of a keenly contested third round match at the United States Open in September last year, Serena Williams and Kim Clijsters stretched each other to the extent that they simultaneously did the splits. "When you're 16 you can get up from doing that," mused Mary Carillo, a CBS television commentator.

At the height of a keenly contested third round match at the United States Open in September last year, Serena Williams and Kim Clijsters stretched each other to the extent that they simultaneously did the splits. "When you're 16 you can get up from doing that," mused Mary Carillo, a CBS television commentator.

After they finished laughing about the cancan, the sturdy youngsters resumed their barrage of shots. Williams won, 4-6, 6-2, 7-5, having recovered from 3-5 in the final set. The American went on to take the title, defeating Martina Hingis in straight sets in the final.

That Williams, aged 17, came closest to losing to Clijsters, her junior by a year, encapsulated the refreshing state of the women's game. At a time when former prodigies who became great players, such as Steffi Graf, Monica Seles and Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario, gradually loosen their grip on the sport, a new generation is establishing rivalries.

Hingis, the youngest Grand Slam singles champion of the 20th century (aged 16 at the 1997 Australian Open), finds herself under pressure from the powerful Williams sisters at almost every major event (the effort needed to overcome Venus, 19, in the US Open semi-finals drained Hingis for the final). Other talented teenagers are preparing to challenge.

Clijsters is a good example. Ranked in the 500s when competing in a minor WTA Tour event in Sheffield in November 1998, the determined baseliner rose to No 47 in the world last year and made an impressive Wimbledon debut as a qualifier. Two days before Christmas she was elected Belgium's Sportswoman of the Year by a panel of sports journalists.

In the second round at Wimbledon, where she had been a junior finalist in 1998, Clijsters outplayed Britain's Karen Cross, 6-2, 6-0. Cross, although disappointed, was not surprised. "Kim is the emerging new talent," she said. Underlining the point, Clijsters outmanoeuvred Amanda Coetzer in the third round, defeating the No 12 seed from South Africa, 6-2, 6-4.

As a result of that victory, the posters of Graf which had adorned Clijsters' bedroom walls as a child were brought to life when she played the athletic German in the fourth round. Clijsters found Graf's game difficult to contend with, particularly on the lawns, the seven-times Wimbledon champion winning, 6-2, 6-2. "The honour of being one of the last players to play Steffi is my best memory of 1999," Clijsters said. There was a bonus: "After the match Steffi said to me I played tennis of the future. That meant so much to me."

Graf retired between Wimbledon and the US Open, where Clijsters gave another eye-catching demonstration of her skill and fortitude. "I inherited power and perseverance from my dad," Clijsters said, acknowledging the influence of her father, Leo, a former Belgium international footballer. Had marks been awarded for artistic impression, Kim's execution of the splits would probably have shaded the vote over Serena's. "My suppleness, that's my mother's side," Kim said. Her mother, Els, is a former Belgian national junior gymnastics champion.

Back problems caused Els to abandon gymnastics, but Leo Clijsters had a famous football career as a sweeper, helping Mechelen to win both the European Cup-winners' Cup and the European Super Cup in 1988. That year he was awarded the "Golden Shoe" as Belgium's player of the year, although Kim considered her father looked "ordinary" alongside her favourite, Philippe Albert.

"On the day my dad won the 'Golden Shoe', a baker brought us a shoe made of marzipan," Kim recalled, "and I ate it all myself." Nowadays Kim, 5ft 81/2in and 10st 7lb, pays more attention to her diet, maximising her strength to compensate for her comparative lack of height.

"My thighs are very muscular. People say I have Clijsters' legs - just like my dad. I know that I don't have a body like [Anna] Kournikova, but that's no problem."

Leo, who played 40 times for his country, now coaches Diest, a Belgian Third Division club. Although both he and his wife know what it takes to succeed in sport, they are far from typical tennis parents.

"Dad looks after my money and my contracts, and helps me a lot mentally," Kim said. "He does it very well, because he has a lot of experience in sport. But he doesn't give me advice on tennis. He's not a connoisseur. Dad hardly knows anything about tennis. Just a few years ago when I phoned home to say I wasn't happy with my forehand, dad said, 'Kim, forehand - which side is it?'"

Such details are the province of Kim's coach, Carl Maes, who is trying to improve her first serve and reduce her unforced errors. He finds the best way to motivate Kim on the practice court is to tell her to imitate her favourite player, Patrick Rafter.

Belgium, in contrast to Britain, is blessed with contenders in the women's game. Kim defeated her nation's top two, Sabine Appelmans and Dominique Van Roost, to win her first WTA Tour singles title in Luxembourg, having qualified for the event a week after the US Open. In Bratislava in October, Kim reached her second WTA Tour singles final, losing to Amelie Mauresmo, of France, and won her first WTA Tour doubles title, partnered by a compatriot, Laurence Courtois.

Justine Henin, another promising Belgian, won the Antwerp tournament in May. It was there that Kim Clijsters made her first appearance in a mainstream WTA Tour event, as a "lucky loser". She advanced to the quarter-finals, to be defeated by the top seed, Sarah Pitkowski, after holding match points.

And we must not overlook Kim's 14-year-old sister, Elke. "Technically," Kim said, "Elke is a lot better than I am." With all that Clijsters there may be a thread of gold.
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post #18 of 131 (permalink) Old Jan 22nd, 2008, 06:44 AM
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Re: 2008 Kim articles, news

sweet article! It's really nice! That part with Lei asking Kim 'Kim, forehand - which side is it?'" is just hilarious!
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post #19 of 131 (permalink) Old Jan 23rd, 2008, 03:39 PM
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Re: 2008 Kim articles, news

From Daniela Hantuchova's AO qtr interview:

Q. How much do you miss Kim Clijsters?

DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Yeah, I've been thinking about her a lot because last year I lost to her here. Now she's expecting baby. She's been such a great friend of mine. I was just so happy the way things worked out for her. She's very, very happy with her family and the baby and stuff.

So, yeah, I'm just very happy for her.

Q. Are you in touch still?

DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Yeah.

Q. Have you spoken to her during the tournament?

DANIELA HANTUCHOVA: Not during the tournament. But before we texted each other.
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post #20 of 131 (permalink) Old Jan 23rd, 2008, 03:51 PM
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Re: 2008 Kim articles, news

I love when other players talk so nice about Kim, and Dani seems honest.
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post #21 of 131 (permalink) Old Jan 24th, 2008, 01:58 AM
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Re: 2008 Kim articles, news

That's very nice to hear. Besides Henin, I don't think Kim had a single person on the tour that didn't like her.
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post #22 of 131 (permalink) Old Feb 9th, 2008, 10:59 AM
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Re: 2008 Kim articles, news

don't know where else to put this, this is probably the best place for it

Kateryna and Alona Bondarenko are blogging for wtatour.com this week and they answered some questions from fans and it turns out Kateryna is a Kim fan

Do you guys have tennis idols? Are they the same or different? - Alexis
My favorite has always been Steffi Graf and Kateryna's favorite was Kim Clijsters. She got to meet Kim because she played when we did, but when Graf played it was before we started playing well, so we weren't playing the same events

COME ON KIM!

Thanks for everything Kim!!!

(`*•.¸(`*•.¸ ¸.•*´¸.•*´)

*•.¸«´`•.*KiM*.•´`»´`•.*

(¸.•*´(¸.•*´ `*•.¸)`*•.¸)

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post #23 of 131 (permalink) Old Feb 9th, 2008, 11:06 AM
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Re: 2008 Kim articles, news

Its good that Kim is still a wonderful influence amongst players like Dani
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post #24 of 131 (permalink) Old Feb 9th, 2008, 11:07 AM
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Re: 2008 Kim articles, news

hope Kateryna can be as succesful as kim or even more

Serena Williams
Martina Hingis


Petra Kvitova - Svetlana Kuznetsova - Sloane Stephens - Madison Keys - Elena Vesnina - Venus Williams - Belinda Bencic

Will Always Love Kim Clijsters, Elena Dementieva, Li Na and Vera Zvonareva
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post #25 of 131 (permalink) Old Feb 9th, 2008, 03:51 PM
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Re: 2008 Kim articles, news

Kinda funny when you realize Kim's idol was Graf.
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post #26 of 131 (permalink) Old Feb 9th, 2008, 03:52 PM
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Re: 2008 Kim articles, news

Another player I'll be rooting for...Kateryna Bondarenko!
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post #27 of 131 (permalink) Old Feb 9th, 2008, 04:47 PM
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Re: 2008 Kim articles, news

Quote:
Originally Posted by doris_k View Post
Another player I'll be rooting for...Kateryna Bondarenko!
she kind of ruined it for herself with me last week by defeating Belgium in the Fed Cup, but now I'll have to change my mind
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post #28 of 131 (permalink) Old Feb 12th, 2008, 06:44 AM
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Re: 2008 Kim articles, news

'Kim kan zo haar comeback maken'
Ai Sugiyama was jarenlang dubbelspelpartner en vriendin van Kim Clijsters

Ze won Wimbledon, de US Open en Roland Garros. Ze stond nummer &#233;&#233;n in het vrouwentennis. In het dubbelspel. Ai Sugiyama, jarenlang de boezemvriendin en dubbelspelpartner van Kim Clijsters.



Het is nog geen middag, de zon doet meer dan haar best, de terrasjes op de Antwerpse Groenplaats zijn al bevolkt. Op deze vrolijke lentedag lacht Ai Sugiyama. Nu, Sugiyama lacht haast altijd. De Japanse staat bekend als een van de vriendelijkste dames van het circuit. Dat heeft ze alvast gemeenschappelijk met haar dubbelspelpartner met wie ze twee grandslamtornooien pakte: Kim Clijsters.

'Wie van ons beiden gevraagd heeft om het te proberen in het dubbelspel, kan ik me niet meer herinneren', zegt Sugiyama. 'Ik weet wel dat het meteen klikte, op en naast de baan. Dat is belangrijk in het dubbel. Je praat met elkaar, je moet elkaar oppeppen, je moet kunnen 'voelen' wanneer de andere wat down is. Dat kan alleen als je elkaar door en door kent.'

Vanzelfsprekend weet Sugiyama dat Clijsters elk ogenblik kan bevallen. Nu ze in Antwerpen is, wil ze, als het even kan, van de gelegenheid gebruikmaken om Clijsters gedag te zeggen. 'We hebben met elkaar niet meer gesproken sinds ze gestopt is.'

Het post-Clijsterstijdperk lijkt misschien al een eeuwigheid geleden, maar is nog geen jaar geleden. Op de Diamond Games anno 2007 vloeiden tranen met tuiten tijdens het offici&#235;le afscheid van Clijsters op Belgische bodem.

Mama's aan de tennistop zijn veeleer zeldzaam, maar ze bestaan: Lindsay Davenport neemt stilaan haar plaats weer in, Sybille Bammer staat in de top twintig.

'Kim kan zo haar comeback maken', zegt Sugiyama. 'Ze is jong gestopt, het is geen probleem om haar plaats aan de top opnieuw in te nemen. Alleen: ze moet willen, natuurlijk. Dat kan ik niet voor haar beslissen. Ik neem aan dat ze nu eerst van het moederschap wil genieten, en ik gun het haar ten zeerste.'

Henin brok kracht

Ai Sugiyama (33) is een oldie in het profcircuit, zestien tennisjaren zingt ze het al uit. De afgelopen Australian Open was haar 55ste grandslamtornooi op rij. Sugiyama, gewezen nummer &#233;&#233;n in het dubbel en nummer acht in het enkelspel, predikt aanvallend, energievretend tennis, dat nog altijd loont. In het dubbel is ze nummer vier van de wereld, in het enkel draait ze rond de top veertig.

Ze heeft het tennis zien veranderen, zegt ze. 'De top is breder geworden. Vroeger had je de top tien, die bijna alles won. Nu heb je ook nog een select groepje absolute topspeelsters, maar daarnaast zijn de speelsters veel meer aan elkaar gewaagd. Iemand uit de top vijftig kan op een goede dag toch een topspeelster kloppen.'

De top zijn steevast explosieve, struise meiden. Het is uitzonderlijk dat de 'kleine' Justine Henin tussen dat geweld nummer &#233;&#233;n van de wereld is. Of niet, Ai Sugiyama? 'Justine is klein en oogt fragiel, maar vergis je niet. Het is &#233;&#233;n brok kracht, ze staat zeer stevig op haar benen. En ze heeft een zeer groot slagenarsenaal.'

De Japanse is een van de weinigen die Henin klopte. In 2003 was dat, toen Henin al nummer &#233;&#233;n van de wereld was. 'Ik heb haar zien opkomen als klein meisje in het profcircuit, ik wist meteen dat er voor dat meisje een grote tennistoekomst was weggelegd. En ze heeft een verfrissende stijl in het krachttennis van vandaag.'

In het moderne tennis gaat ook veel meer geld om dan tijdens de beginjaren van Sugiyama. Of dat ten nadele is gegaan van de mentaliteit van de speelsters? Sugiyama lacht. 'De omgang tussen de speelsters is niet harder geworden. Het is altijd zo geweest. Kim Clijsters was echt een uitzondering in het circuit.'

Omkoperij

Als oudgediende kent Sugiyama het proftennis door en door. Het voorbije jaar werd het tennis opgeschrikt door gokverhalen, bij de mannen. De ATP is bezig met een onderzoek naar de graad van mogelijke corruptie en omkoperij in het tennis. Sugiyama: 'Die verhalen hebben mij verbaasd. Maar ik weet niet of er iets van aan is in het mannentennis.' Of ze zich kan voorstellen dat er ook wordt omgekocht en illegaal wordt ingezet in vrouwenwedstrijden? Ze schudt ferm het hoofd. 'Omkoperij in het vrouwentennis werkt niet, daar ben ik zeker van.' Euh? 'Vrouwen zijn een ras apart, ze haten het om te verliezen tegen een andere vrouw.'

Als ze stopt, wil Sugiyama haar kunde voortzetten. 'Ik heb al een aantal jaar een tennisacademie in Japan. Wanneer ik het voor bekeken houd, weet ik niet. Aan de ene kant zit het erin dat dit mijn laatste jaar is. Aan de andere kant zeg ik al acht jaar dat ik stop.' (lacht)

Vandaag speelt ze alvast een 'vriendenmatch'. Ze neemt het op tegen Caroline Maes. Ofwel: de beste Belgische vriendin van Kim Clijsters tegen de gewezen dubbelspelpartner en buitenlandse vriendin van Clijsters.

Sugiyama lacht: 'Gelukkig ken ik haar niet. Anders moest ik een vriendin van Kim naar huis sturen.'



Please don't put me translate it because I could hardly understand something. I let those of you who speak and understand this difficult language to sum it up if you have time!
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post #29 of 131 (permalink) Old Feb 12th, 2008, 09:36 AM
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Re: 2008 Kim articles, news

Thanks Doris!
I translated the parts and quotes which have something to do with Kim.


'Kim can easily make her comeback'

... The Japanese (Ai Sugiyama) is known as one of the friendliest persons on the circuit. She has that in common with her doubles-partner, with whom she won two Grand slam titles: Kim Clijsters.

“I don’t remember any more who asked whom to try playing doubles. I just remember that it clicked right away, on and off the court. That is very important in the doubles. You talk to each other, you must encourage each other, you must ’feel’ when the other is down. That can only happen if you know each other very well. “

Now that she is in Antwerp, if she can, she’ll use the opportunity to say hi to Kim.
“We haven’t talked to each other since she stopped.“

“Kim can easily make her comeback. She was young when she stopped, it wouldn’t be a problem at all for her to take her place in the top again. Only: she must want it, naturally. I can’t decide that for her. I think that she’ll want to enjoy her motherhood first, and I wish her that very much.“
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post #30 of 131 (permalink) Old Feb 12th, 2008, 09:45 AM
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Re: 2008 Kim articles, news

Thanks Doris and Moonlight I forgot that Kim and Ai played doubles together - it feels like so long ago....
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