Kim Clijsters Insists That Her Ankle Had Nothing to Do with French Open Defeat
Kim Clijsters Bows Out of French Open in Second Round
As far as Grand Slam play is concerned, Kim Clijsters was coming into the French Open on a roll. Dating back to last year's U.S. Open, Clijsters had won 15 straight Grand Slam matches, the most recent of which was her Australian Open clincher against Li Na.
Better yet, Clijsters was matched up against 114th-ranked Arantxa Rus in the second round at Roland Garros. She was 31-0 in Grand Slam play against opponents ranked outside the top 100. Clearly, an automatic win if there ever was one.
But that's, as they say, why they play the game.
As you've no doubt already heard, Rus defeated Clijsters 3-6, 7-5, 6-1. Almost immediately, people started looking for answers.
The most obvious target was Clijsters' right ankle, which she injured while dancing at a wedding. It had kept her out of action for over a month.
Because Clijsters was playing with the ankle taped, maybe it was still an issue.
Naturally, Clijsters doesn't want to hear it.
Courtesy of ESPN, here's what Clijsters had to say about her bum ankle:
My ankle feels fine, so that has absolutely nothing to do with it. If I felt like I wasn't ready as much as I would have liked to be, I wouldn't have come here. If I wasn't feeling like I was able to play tough matches, then I wouldn't have made that decision to come here.
In reality, Clijsters' defeat seemed to be more of a mental problem. She seemed to lose all faith in her serve, and ended up with a ridiculous 65 unforced errors.
After the match, Clijsters admitted that she did start to have doubts during the match.
"I started doubting a little bit," she said. "When you start doubting yourself on any surface, but for me definitely on clay, it's the wrong attitude to have."
Clijsters obviously isn't going to admit as much, but maybe her doubts can be linked to her ankle. Even if it is fully healed, she was essentially testing it for the first time. That's not the kind of thing that Clijsters would have been ignorant of, so maybe it was getting to her head.
Either way, Clijsters needs to put her struggles at the French Open behind her in a hurry. Wimbledon is going to be here in no time. Seeing as how Clijsters has had mixed results at Wimbledon throughout her career, she needs to be focused.
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