Tennis Forum banner
1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
43,627 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Becoming No. 1 Is Not No. 1 on Clijsters' Mind
By Lisa Dillman, Times Staff Writer
August 9 2003
LA Times

No one ever thought Kim Clijsters of Belgium would be hunkered down in the dressing room with a calculator, wondering how many points she needed to become the No. 1 player in the world.

Hmmm. Does a Francesca Schiavone help or hurt? Would the missing bonus points from the loss of an injured Chanda Rubin turn the No. 1 quest at the JPMorgan Chase Open into a lost cause?

But Clijsters is no Martina Hingis.

The all-but-retired Hingis, who spent 209 weeks ruling in the top spot, used to know how many points separated her from the field. In those days, she rattled off the totals for the media, knowing the distance from her No. 1 perch and the Williams sisters, whether it was hundreds of points or thousands.

Clijsters appears blissfully unaware of such things. After the top-seeded Clijsters defeated Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia, 6-3, 6-1, in 51 minutes in front of about 1,500 at the Home Depot Center on Friday afternoon in Carson, she was reminded that she was two victories from the No. 1 ranking.

The 20-year-old Belgian shook her head. It seemed as though she thought it wouldn't necessarily happen here, that it might come down to bonus points, which are attached to the ranking of her opponents. That didn't matter, according to the WTA. And it didn't appear to matter to Clijsters, either.

In tonight's semifinal match, at 6, she will play No. 16 Schiavone of Italy. Clijsters has not lost a set to her in three matches, including last month at Stanford. In the earlier semifinal, at noon, No. 4 Ai Sugiyama of Japan will play No. 2 Lindsay Davenport. Davenport beat No. 8 Amanda Coetzer of South Africa, 6-2, 6-4, in 58 minutes in the evening quarterfinal match before an announced 1,943. She is 7-1 against Sugiyama, losing to her this year.

There has been a fair amount of confusion about a possible ranking change. Reigning Wimbledon and U.S. Open champion Serena Williams has held the No. 1 ranking for 57 weeks but is sidelined for anywhere from six to eight weeks, recovering from knee surgery.

The final obstacle for Clijsters could be Sugiyama, who defeated Magdalena Maleeva of Bulgaria, 6-2, 4-6, 6-2, in another quarterfinal. Sugiyama won the Wimbledon doubles title with Clijsters in July and made a point to congratulate her last week at Carlsbad on becoming No. 1. She may have been early with the kudos.

"I calculated wrong," Sugiyama said, smiling.

Changes at the top are more widely chronicled than in the '70s and early '80s. Martina Navratilova, following her quarterfinal doubles victory with Kuznetsova on Friday, spoke about those changes and how she first found out she became No. 1 in 1978.

"I think I read it in the paper the Sunday after Wimbledon, winning Wimbledon was a much bigger deal," Navratilova said. "If you clinched the year-end No. 1, that was something. I just wanted to keep it. I wanted to be No. 1 at the end of the year. I guess it's become more of a special thing than back then."

That Clijsters has yet to win a Grand Slam, and still could become No. 1, has become a talking point. She has been in two French Open finals, and had match points before losing to Serena Williams in the semifinals of the Australian Open in January.

"You still have to do well in those four big events and Kim has done that," Navratilova said. "With her, we all know it's a matter of time before she wins a Slam. It could be next month or next year. Chances are it'll happen. Even if it doesn't, she still deserves it. She's had the best year overall."

In 14 tournaments, Clijsters has appeared in 10 finals, winning five titles in 2003. She has not lost before the semifinals this year in any event. The No. 1 question had not surfaced until she hit the California hard-court circuit this summer, and the notion is something of a foreign concept for her.

"I don't know because a lot of people have been asking me how I would feel if I get to No. 1, but I don't know. I'm not in that position," said Clijsters when she got here on Monday. "I'll have to tell you guys if I get there. You don't how things would feel if you haven't been there yet. I can't imagine."
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,975 Posts
Kimmie :kiss:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
47,657 Posts
justine&coria said:
I'm sure she really wants that 1st spot, but she does as if she doesn't care.
Or maybe she just knows that she isn´t the real no.1! :lol:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
47,657 Posts
What´s Martina talking about she has had the best year overall?! No one can have the best year overall if she hasn´t won a slam!! Simple!

Give me Serena´s 2 slams and a tier I over Kim´s titles anyday!!
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top