Kim in CNN/SI Mailbag 2003-2004 - TennisForum.com
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post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old Jul 7th, 2003, 09:01 PM Thread Starter
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Kim mentions in CNN/SI Mailbag

These two things fit in separate topics, so I just decided to make a topic for the Mailbag period. Perhaps we can make this a permanent thread for all future Mailbag entries to go in??
From 7/7/03 Bag:
Quote:
In Australia, Kim Clijsters had Serena dead to rights in the semis (5-1 in the decisive set) and relinquished her grip. In Paris, Clijsters reached the final and was the favorite against countrywoman Justin Henin-Hardenne, but she came out strung tighter than her racket and couldn't keep a ball in the court. In Wimbledon's final four, Clijsters faced Venus Williams, who was sometimes doubled over in pain from an abdominal injury. Palpably uneasy sticking it to a wounded player, Clijsters lost in three sets. We hope she was watching the men's final on Sunday and learned from Federer that self-possessed, kind-hearted, emotionally sensitive souls (without putting too fine a point on it: human beings) can still get the brass ring in this sport. ...
and
Quote:
Lleyton Hewitt took an absolute beating at Wimbledon, both in his first-round loss to Ivo Karlovic and the extended media pile-on that followed. As we watch with curiosity to see if he emerges a changed man, we'll say this: We're having a hard time naming too many other top male pros who would suffer a stinging upset and then stick around the tournament for two weeks to watch his girlfriend play.

Prayed through the nights
felt so alone
suffered from alienation
carried the weight on my own
Had to be strong
so I believed
and now I know I've succeeded
in finding the place I conceived
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post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old Jul 9th, 2003, 09:54 PM
 
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That is so beautiful!
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post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old Jul 10th, 2003, 01:12 PM
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Heap Lleyton is a sweetie

We will miss you Kim!.


Best of Luck in 2007 to: Kim & Bryan, Lleyton, Alicia, Todd, Sam, Chris, Casey, Wayne, Kirsten & all the other Aussies & injured players.
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post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old Jul 22nd, 2003, 03:51 AM Thread Starter
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The latest has this:
There's a real possibility that Kim Clijsters will ascend to the No. 1 ranking by September without the virtue of having won a Grand Slam tournament. It's actually not inconceivable that Serena Williams could win the U.S. Open and Clijsters lose in the semis, yet Clijsters still become No. 1, despite Williams' three Slams. Which brings me to my proposal: How about extra bonus points (say, 1,000) for multiple Grand Slam winners. Face it: Slams are pure "money" (in the Swingers sense of the word) in tennis, and if you can win two in a year, you're probably the best player in the world, even if you don't compete in any other tournaments. I understand that the WTA Tour has a major stake in inducing its top players to compete more often, but it also doesn't want to lose credibility by having non-Grand Slam champions ranked ahead of multiple champs. Awarding bonus points would solve the problem without too heavily favoring single Slam winners, who may have gotten lucky but can't be considered the best in the world.
—Jonathan Kelley, Chicago


Good question. And not just because you referenced Swingers. For starters, I'm not totally sold on the fact that Clijsters will finish the year at No. 1. Even though Williams pulled the impressive (and inauspicious) double pullout last week, heading into the Open she will likely increase her summer points total from last year. Also, if Clijsters doesn't at least reach the final of the Los Angeles year-end championships, she'll lose a boatload of points there. If Serena defends her Open title and plays a few of the European indoor events -- granted, no sure thing -- she'll probably be OK.

Still, your point is well taken. What does it say for the credibility of the rankings system -- and, by extension, the credibility of the WTA -- when a player who fails to win a solitary major in a calendar year has a fair chance to overtake a colleague who has won three? But you have to balance that with the reality that the WTA needs to create more, not fewer, incentives for top players to compete and has no interest in a system that rewards players for entering fewer events. An extra bonus for winning both Slams only gives Serena one less reason to play run-of-the-mill events -- and as we saw last week, that's the last thing anyone needs.

We've said it before and we'll say it again. With apologies to Winston Churchill: The current rankings system is the worst possible. Except for every other.

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post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old Aug 6th, 2003, 03:36 PM Thread Starter
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This week's edition has two mentions (not really positive):
Quote:
Down the road in San Diego, despite the absence of her coach, Carlos Rodriguez, Justine Henin-Hardenne outlasted countrywoman Kim Clijsters in three sets to win the Acura Classic. Given Venus Williams' questionable physical condition and Clijsters' questionable mental state, you have to look seriously at JH-H as the new U.S. Open favorite.
and then
Quote:
"Taking advantage of a weaker field, Kim Clijsters beat ..." was the opening to your column last week. Again, I can't help but read into the choice of words that you believe Clijsters does not deserve her current No. 2 ranking (soon to be No. 1) or that you continue to portray her as the outsider. Is this right?
—Reinhart Papen, Katy, Texas


Despite its Tier II status, Stanford traditionally has been a strong tournament. This year the draw featured no Venus, no Serena, no Davenport, no Amélie Mauresmo, no Justine Henin-Hardenne. When only one of the top six players in the world deigns to show up, I think it's fair to say that the field is comparatively weaker.

To answer your other question, I have mixed feelings about Clijsters' current No. 2 ranking -- and what is now an almost-assured ascension to the top spot. Yes, the computer is utterly without bias. And cold, hard, rational numbers tell us that Clijsters has indisputably earned her points fair and square. So who are we to begrudge her a ranking? Add to this the fact that Clijsters is so darned nice and well-adjusted and self-possessed that you can't muster even a little personal animus against her.

At the same time, I think it's a bit, I don't know, icky that a player who has not won a major and, by her own admission, isn't the best in the business can achieve the top ranking. I know a bunch of you are going to write in saying something to the effect of "Rules are rules, and if the Williams sisters choose not to play enough events to be No. 1, it's their own damn fault." I agree to a point. But it leaves an unpleasant taste in the mouth when the No. 1 ranking is only titular and most of us agree that, at this moment, three players are probably superior.

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post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old Aug 6th, 2003, 05:17 PM
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as much as I love Kim, 'cause I do, you all know I do, she's without a doubt my favourite player, I have to agree with this:

Quote:
But it leaves an unpleasant taste in the mouth when the No. 1 ranking is only titular and most of us agree that, at this moment, three players are probably superior.
not that I won't be glad when Kim reaches number 1, but I do believe the number 1 should be able to beat EVERY player there is, and clearly ( ) Kim can't at the moment...

(sorry, don't want to be all all negative, just think the guy has a point)

"Ik weet dat wij ons erdoor slaan, dat we zij aan zij blijven staan
Tot alle stormen zijn verstomd en er een nieuwe lente komt
En alles weer begint van voor af aan..."

Nolle in causa est; non posse praetenditur.
~Seneca~
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post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old Aug 6th, 2003, 06:27 PM Thread Starter
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majo - True, though arguably only Serena is ahead of Kim. Kim has won 5 titles this year (only player to win a title on all surfaces) and made the SF or better in all of the majors.

Her record against Justine this year is 3-3, and overall Kim has had the more consistent year. Neither player is clearly above the other.

Venus has played few events this year, and she has a few early losses (4th round at the French, early loss in Miami). Kim certainly deserves to be ranked above Venus.

To me, Serena has clearly been the best player of the year...and Kim and Justine are even at #2.

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post #8 of 28 (permalink) Old Aug 11th, 2003, 09:07 PM Thread Starter
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From the 8/11/03 Mailbag:
Quote:
His and hers Player of the Week awards to distribute. ... As for the women, Kim Clijsters became the 12th player in WTA Tour history to hold the No. 1 ranking. She beat Lindsay Davenport in the final to win the JPMorgan Chase event in Carson, Calif., outside Los Angeles, and in so doing moved ahead of Serena Williams. ... If Clijsters sustains this level of play through the U.S. Open, questions about the legitimacy of her ranking will be answered just fine.
and
Quote:
Is there some truth to what Kim Clijsters had to say about Justine Henin-Hardenne's gamesmanship? JH-H has had run-ins with Lindsay Davenport and Serena Williams, in addition to Clijsters. Clijsters doesn't strike me as the unsportsmanlike type, yet she made the same comments about JH-H as the other two. Your thoughts?
—Gavin Ling, London


A lot of you asked about the dissension between Henin-Hardenne and Clijsters. Not since the Congress of Vienna has Belgium seen this much controversy. Sure, Henin-Hardenne may have, on several occasions this year, crossed the line between gamesmanship and sportsmanship. Remember that earlier this summer her coach, Carlos Rodriguez, essentially admitted that Henin-Hardenne played dirty pool ("Against any other player she would have replayed the point," he said damningly when asked about the French Open controversy with Serena Williams).

Still, at some level this is much ado about nothing. Henin-Hardenne is hardly the first player to use a strategic timeout or bathroom break as a tactic to change the rhythm of a match. And just as one missed first serve wasn't the proximate cause of Serena's loss in Paris, a questionable call to the trainer did not cause Clijsters to lose in San Diego. JH-H still had to win the final point of the match and reach six (or seven) games in the decisive set. Also, if the net result of these contretemps is that it adds a layer of intrigue to women's tennis (which has had a rough go of things post-Wimbledon), who's the worse for it?

A broader point: It's also interesting to note that as Henin-Hardenne has gone from an also-ran who valiantly tries to keep up with physically superior players to a bona fide star who wins titles and beats Serena, her Q rating has gone down. She is clearly less popular among her peers, and I sense a bit of a shift in fan support. Her portrayal by the media has changed subtly, too. While her tragic backstory once imbued her with instant likability and sympathy, it is now seen less rosily as the source of her "intensity" and "rough edges." She is no longer an underdog. Popularity is a fickle beast.
and
Quote:
It wasn't too long ago (late last year?) that talk surfaced about Kim Clijster's arm troubles. While those seem to be behind her, what's the word on how prudently she's planning her schedule? The short-term pursuit of the No. 1 ranking (if that's what she's doing) has her playing an insane number of events. Can/will her body hold up, in the opinion of those in the know?
—Peter, Boston


Since you brought it up, that arm injury was really bizarre. At the 2002 Australian Open Clijsters claims she couldn't lift her arm above her head, a fairly significant impediment for a tennis player. To the best of my knowledge she never underwent surgery, yet the problem obviously has gone away. Anyway, Clijsters, to be sure, plays a lot of tournaments, which factored heavily into her achieving the top ranking. What's more, she is a loyal doubles player, so it's not as though she's taking many days off between matches. In her defense: a) a lot of her early singles matches are 55-minute cakewalks that barely enable her to break a sweat, and b) clearly, her prolific playing hasn't had much adverse impact on her results.

Besides, in this era of mass pullouts (witness the Toronto draw), it's hard to knock a player for entering too many events. To each her own. Some players are more brittle than others. Others worry that their games will atrophy without match play. Clijsters falls into the latter category. (Plus, if you look at Clijsters' thick legs, it's clear that physically she is better equipped than many others to play two dozen events a year.)
Anyone who wants to address the arm issue can write Wertheim at:
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/email/tennismailbag/

Prayed through the nights
felt so alone
suffered from alienation
carried the weight on my own
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post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old Aug 11th, 2003, 09:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jenglisbe
From the 8/11/03 Mailbag:

Anyone who wants to address the arm issue can write Wertheim at:
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/email/tennismailbag/
I did Just told him that she had to work really hard to make that injury go away, that it didn't just dissapear and that she still does shoulder exercises.
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post #10 of 28 (permalink) Old Aug 11th, 2003, 10:52 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinkie
I did Just told him that she had to work really hard to make that injury go away, that it didn't just dissapear and that she still does shoulder exercises.


thanks
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post #11 of 28 (permalink) Old Sep 15th, 2003, 01:51 PM Thread Starter
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From the 9/8/03 Mailbag:
Quote:
Kim Clijsters, Jim Loehr. Jim Loehr, Kim Clijsters. ... How unsung is the Belgian No.1? After her semifinal romp over Lindsay Davenport, her name was misspelled "Clijters" on the giant draw-board near the front entrance. (It was changed the following day).
About that first part; Jim Loehr is a sort of self-help guy; he has written books to tell people how to find motivation, confidence, etc.

Prayed through the nights
felt so alone
suffered from alienation
carried the weight on my own
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post #12 of 28 (permalink) Old Oct 14th, 2003, 05:31 PM Thread Starter
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Kim isthe female Player of the Week this week:
Quote:
As for the ladies' honor, big props to Kim Clijsters who held on to her top ranking, beating countrywoman Justine Henin-Hardenne in the finals of Filderstadt.

Prayed through the nights
felt so alone
suffered from alienation
carried the weight on my own
Had to be strong
so I believed
and now I know I've succeeded
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post #13 of 28 (permalink) Old Oct 14th, 2003, 06:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jenglisbe
Kim isthe female Player of the Week this week:

Sweet as Belgian Chocolate, Bubbly as Champagne






"When you do your best, it's always good enough" - Kim Clijsters

"No matter what happens, you have to try to stay positive, bad things can happen, but if you try to stay positive, something positive will come out of it…I believe that everything happens for a reason" - Kim Clijsters


"Goed is de ergste vijand van zeer goed" - Pascal Smet

"Als je iemand idealiseert, verlies je het contact met de werkelijkheid"

"Ca s’apprend par la souffrance, ça s’apprend par les déceptions, ça s’apprend par la densité du mal que ça te fait, plus ça te fait mal et plus ça te fait grandir. Y a des moments où tu te dis je ne vais pas le supporter, ça, ça fait trop mal, et pourtant tu passes au travers."
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post #14 of 28 (permalink) Old Dec 2nd, 2003, 06:22 AM
 
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Wertheim on Sweet Kimmie

While one can make the argument that Kim Clijsters' refusal to wear Adidas clothing at the Olympics so as not to break contractual obligations to Fila is commendable in its show of loyalty, do you not see it as a case of misplaced loyalty? I would imagine that the Belgian tennis program has put quite a lot of time and money into her development and this refusal is essentially a slap in the face and a cash grab under the guise of "professional and contractual obligation"? --Roman Draut, Middletown, Ohio

Let's see. Since August, Clijsters has accused Henin-Hardenne of faking injury, failed to apologize when members of her camp lofted shabby allegations that JH-H was a drug cheat, compiled a Nixonian enemies list, not only declined to play Fed Cup but also maligned the competition. And now she has threatened not to play in the Olympics unless she can wear the Fila clothes she endorses rather than apparel from Adidas, which sponsors the Belgian team. Um, can the aliens who abducted the delightful Kim Clijsters a few months ago and replaced her with this sour simulacrum please return her to earth? (Or to the tennis world, anyway?)

This latest p.r. gaffe induced a blizzard of angry e-mail. As John Bayalis of Atlanta wrote: "I know corporate sponsorship and clothing in the Olympics is a big deal in sports (see the 1992 U.S. Olympic Basketball Team) but doesn't Kim Clijsters' refusal to represent her country in lieu of a contract with Fila seem utterly disrespectful? Am I crazy, or is this indeed a horrible precedent to be setting for fans and children alike?"

John, of course, is not crazy. While Clijsters is not the first athlete to make a similar demand it is a shame she, of all people, is playing this ridiculous game of chicken -- which, apart from being completely at odds with the Olympic ideal, reflects poorly on both Clijsters and her sponsor. You'd like to think that a player who competes so often and as successfully as Clijsters does would have the leverage (and courage) to negotiate an exception from her sponsor. You'd also like to think Fila would rather Clijsters played in the Olympics -- even if it meant outfitting her in rival apparel for a few days -- than not play at all. Basically, this is a lose-lose proposition. The Clijsters camp can get vertigo spinning this as "loyalty" but no one's buying. The gesture comes across as just another avaricious athlete making a petulant, me-me-me demand.

In this case, it is particularly puzzling. In addition to being a top-flight player, Clijsters is "one of the good ones." She's self-possessed and genuinely humble and immensely well-liked by all of tennis' special-interest groups. (Personal testimonial: I've never found her to be anything less than a pleasure to deal with.) She has accumulated a lot of good will through the years and it would be a real shame if it evaporated because of a few silly "controversies."


And Sweetie Pie about Kirsten Flipkens

Well, that's very hard to say. It all, you know -- I'm not a -- I hope the sooner, the better for her. It's tough, you know, going from, you know -- it's a completely different circuit, you know, going from the Juniors to the pro tour. That's -- but I'm sure she'll get there. I'm not really, you know, a card reader or anything. I don't really know how long it's gonna take her. But I'm sure she's -- I mean, any junior who plays that well on a lot of surfaces, like her will -- I'm sure she'll get pretty far on the WTA Tour.


And logical question

About the quotation you ran last week from Kim Clijsters on Kirsten Flipkens: Is Clijsters that inarticulate due to concentration problems, or is it because of a general jock lack of education? --Cris Senior, New York

In one form or another, we get this question every week. You see a player quoted and the syntax makes you cringe. True, Clijsters' response won't overtake William Jennings Bryan's "Cross of Gold" speech as a barometer of eloquence. But cut her some slack. She had just suffered a demoralizing loss in the U.S. Open final, was forced to dissect a lousy day at the office and was doing so in her second tongue. Then, out of nowhere, she gets a question about the professional prospects of Kirsten Flipkens. Forgive Clijsters if she's a little tongue-tied and her extemporaneous answer is a bit scattered. What's more, if you've ever been interviewed on television and then read a verbatim transcript, you've no doubt cringed at how many of your sentences are peppered with "you knows," "ums" and "sort ofs."


Cheers !!!

Mod message:

thread moved to existing thread re the mailbag contents.

End Mod message

Last edited by KaseyL; Dec 2nd, 2003 at 07:53 AM.
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post #15 of 28 (permalink) Old Dec 2nd, 2003, 07:36 AM
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Miaow! Does he always have vitriol for breakfast?

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