Caroline Wozniacki may be the No. 1 women's tennis player in the world, but we all know she isn't a dominant force.
Kim Clijsters, on the other hand, is showing the form that made her the 2011 Australian Open champion.
As the two get set for their clash on Tuesday in Melbourne, Clijsters has been on fire. She won in straight sets for the first three rounds and disposed of 2011 finalist Li Na in the fourth round, 4-6, 7-6 (8-6), 6-4.
But it wasn't just that Clijsters was on the edge of elimination and somehow battled back. She actually considered retiring early in the match after twisting her ankle in the first set.
Said Clijsters, via the Montreal Gazette:
“(Retiring) definitely crossed my mind at some point, but I knew if I could just try to kind of let the medication sink in or, you know, if I could get through the first 20 minutes, half-hour, I think the pain would go away a little bit and then maybe with the adrenalin I could just fly through it. I’m happy that I didn’t give up."
Clijsters is not only playing good tennis, she's finding ways to win when the chips aren't stacked in her favor. That screams "2012 Australian Open champion."
As I detailed last week, Clijsters was largely counted out of this year's tournament because she was coming off a left hip injury sustained in Brisbane. But that hip injury hasn't appeared to be a problem and she's playing like the No. 1 seed in the tournament, not the No. 11 seed.
Tennis great Martina Navratilova bashed Wozniacki on Monday in Melbourne, questioning her No. 1 status.
Said Navratilova, via Stuff.co.nz:
"Clearly nobody feels that Wozniacki is a true number one.
"If we still had the same ranking system we were using six years ago when they were giving bonus points for beating players, (world No. 2 Petra) Kvitova would have ended up number one because she had beaten more top players than Wozniacki.
"Wozniacki doesn't even have that great of a record in her career or the last four years over the top 10 or against the top five, whereas Petra you feel really imposes herself on the match and any player."
I tend to agree with Navratilova. Wozniacki may be No. 1 according to a computer system, but there's a reason why she doesn't have a Grand Slam title in her career: She's not good enough to beat the top players in women's tennis.
Right now, Clijsters is playing like a top player. That spells trouble for Wozniacki in the quarterfinals.
With Serena Williams now out of the way, expect Clijsters to push Wozniacki to the side and capture her second straight Australian Open when all is said and done.
|Rod Laver Arena |
|Rod Laver Arena |
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