US Open Tennis 2012: Breaking Down Top Stories from Flushing Meadows

Allan BrulettCorrespondent IIAugust 30, 2012

The three-time champ left the U.S. Open for good a few rounds earlier than she would have liked.
The three-time champ left the U.S. Open for good a few rounds earlier than she would have liked.US PRESSWIRE

U.S. Open Tennis 2012: What You've Missed So Far

Kim Clijsters’ Early Final Exit

Three of Kim Clijsters’ four Grand Slam singles titles came at Flushing Meadows, where she has now added the last scene to a career highlight reel spanning more than 13 years. Though she entered the tournament as the 25th-ranked woman in the world, in May, the former No. 1 ranked player in the world announced that she would retire following the 2012 U.S. Open. 

The retirement match just came a little sooner than she expected. In an on-court interview immediately following her upset loss to Brit Laura Robson on Wednesday, Clijsters thanked the fans and said “This completely feels like the perfect place to retire. I just wish it wasn't today.” 

One note for those of you who will miss the Belgian: She has retired before. Just sayin’.

Women’s Draw

Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova both advanced. Serena still appears unstoppable, but a rematch with Sharapova remains the most intriguing possible matchup on the schedule. It is safe to assume Sharapova would like a chance to avenge the way Serena eviscerated her on the worldwide stage in the Olympic final. (But to make that match happen, Sharapova would likely have to knock off the current World No. 1, Victoria Azarenka.)

Venus Williams advanced handily, a surprise these days. The 32-year-old former superstar is now firmly on the down-slope of her career and has struggled with health issues since last year’s Open, making early exits from both the French Open and Wimbledon. But the former No. 1 looks right now like she might have one more run in her.

Defending Open champ Samantha Stosur looks as if she has returned to form after recent struggles, but she has a lot of heavy hitters to knock off if she is to defend her crown successfully.

Men’s Draw

No surprises here so far. Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray all advanced. (And remember, the withdrawal of the injured Rafael Nadal clears the way for Djokovic to make the final round without having to face either Murray or Federer.) Murray looked particularly dominant, perhaps heralding a new confidence following his Olympic triumph.

And there may be a sentimental-favorite bias here, but the aging 20th seed, Andy Roddick, looks like he might have another run in him.