French Open 2011: A Rusty Clijsters Overcomes Yakimova to Win in Round One.
It is hard to tell from the score 6-2, 6-3 that Belgian Kim Clijsters lacked adequate preparation coming into the French Open.
Clijsters has won four grand slam titles––all on hard courts. She won the Australian Open for the first time earlier this year defeating Li Na of China 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 in the final, fully earning her nickname of “Aussie Kim.”
Clijsters has won three U.S. Open titles. The first came in 2005 before the Belgian retired from tennis for the first time. After her comeback, Clijsters triumphed again in Flushing Meadows with back to back wins in 2009 and 2010.
The Belgian has been a semifinalist twice at Wimbledon in 2003 and 2006.
At the French Open in 2001 and 2003, Clijsters made the finals, losing to American Jennifer Capriati and countrywoman Justine Henin respectively.
Coming into the 2011 French Open, Clijsters is recovering from a severe ankle sprain that has kept her out of action for the entire clay court season.
In her match against Anastasiya Yakimova of Belarus, Clijsters had only one ace as opposed to five double faults. She also suffered through 33 unforced errors offset by 22 winners. The Belgian’s serve was broken three times.
Hopefully, as Clijsters progresses into the draw, she will be able to shake off the rust and replace it with first-rate serving and accuracy.
In round two Clijsters will face Arantxa Rus of the Netherlands.
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