Kim Clijsters

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Kim Clijsters
Country: Belgium
Residence: Bree, BEL
Height: 174 cm (5'8 1/2")
Weight: 68 kg (150 lbs.)
Plays: Right
Turned pro: 1999
Highest singles ranking: 1 (11 August 2003)
Highest doubles ranking: 1 (4 August 2003)
Singles titles: 30
Doubles titles: 11
Career Prize Money: $12,522,849
Grand Slam Record
Titles: 1
Australian Open F ('04)
French Open F ('01, '03)
Wimbledon SF ('03)
U.S. Open W ('05)

Kim Clijsters IPA /kɪm klɛistərs/ Template:Audio , (born on June 8, 1983, Bilzen, Belgium) is a former World No. 1 tennis player from Belgium. She achieved that ranking on 11 august, 2003 but subsequently lost it to fellow Belgian Justine Henin-Hardenne. Currently she is the World No. 2

She has won more prize money than any Belgian tennis player in history and has won more titles (singles and doubles) than any Belgian tennis player.

Tennis career

Clijsters was an accomplished junior player. In 1998, she was the runner-up in the Wimbledon junior singles event. She also won the French Open junior doubles event with Jelena Dokic and the US Open junior doubles event with Eva Dyrberg, and finished the year ranked number 11 in singles and number 4 in doubles in the ITF junior world rankings.

In 1999, Clijsters made the breakthrough into the senior ranks of women's tennis. At Wimbledon, she played through the qualifying rounds to make the main draw and beat Amanda Coetzer en route to the fourth round, where she lost to her childhood idol Steffi Graf. Later that summer, Clijsters reached the third round of the US Open, where at one stage she served for the match against, but ultimately lost to, the eventual champion Serena Williams. In the autumn of 1999, Clijsters won her first WTA singles title at Luxembourg, and then her first WTA doubles title at Bratislava, partnering with Laurence Courtois.

She climbed her way up the rankings over the next couple of years. She reached her first Grand Slam final at the 2001 French Open, where she lost an extremely close match to Jennifer Capriati by a score of 12-10 in the final set. Her next important breakthrough came at the end of 2002, when she won the year-end WTA Tour Championships in Los Angeles, scoring a huge win in the final over the world number one at the time, Serena Williams.

Clijsters had the most successful year of her career so far in 2003. She won nine tournaments that year, including the WTA championships, reached two Grand Slam finals at the French Open and the US Open, losing on both occasions to her compatriot Justine Henin-Hardenne, and was ranked number one in the world for several weeks, although she eventually finished the season at number two behind Henin-Hardenne.

Clijsters started 2004 by reaching her fourth Grand Slam final at the Australian Open, where she lost again to Henin-Hardenne; and then went on a very successful run where she won two titles at the Paris and Antwerp. Unfortunately, Clijsters then began to have injury problems with her wrist, which eventually required surgery and forced her to withdraw from the rest of the 2004 Grand Slam tournaments.

In February 2005, after almost a year of inactivity caused by injuries, she made her return to the WTA tour by participating in her home country tournament at Antwerp. She then completed a stunning comeback to the top echelon of tennis when she won, as an unseeded player, 14 straight matches against world's top players to claim two Tier I titles (Indian Wells and Miami) in March, 2005 (defeated five of the world's top six players at that time). In 2005 she won 9 singles events, her last one was at the Gaz de France Stars in Hasselt.

Clijsters has won 30 singles titles in her career so far. Two of those came at the prestigious year-ending WTA Tour Championships, affirming the fact that she is quite capable of winning a tournament featuring only the top eight women players in the world, and another one came at the 2005 US Open.

Clijsters finally got the Grand Slam monkey off her back when she won the 2005 US Open. Clijsters defeated Mary Pierce 6-3, 6-1 in the finals, winning 2.2 million USD — the largest payday in women's sports history. Her actual winnings from the US open were 1.1 million USD, but because of her #1 ranking in the USTA in 2005, she received a 100% bonus from the association. Along the way, Clijsters defeated both Venus Williams and Maria Sharapova. Clijsters is considered by her peers as one of the most likeable players on the WTA Tour. Her Grand Slam title dispels past criticisms that being "too nice" has prevented her from ever winning a major.

On September 15, 2005, it was announced that the cooperation between Clijsters and her coach Marc De Hous would come to an end. De Hous had brought her during the three years they worked together, to the number one spot on the WTA ranking, two Masters titles and a Grand Slam victory but thought it to be time to do something else. Clijsters will take no new coach but will continue on her own.

Clijsters has reportedly said that she will play for another two years at most because of the toll that tennis has taken on her body.

At the 2005 WTA Tour Championships Clijsters was defeated after only 2 matches. Her first match she lost in a thrilling three-setter against Mary Pierce (6-1,4-6,7-6). Amelie Mauresmo defeated her in her second match (6-3,7-6). Clijsters said in interviews that her defeats are due to tiredness and maybe a jet lag because she only left Belgium friday morning (local time). She won her third match in round-robin against Dementieva with 6-2 and 6-3, but that match was only for the honor because both players were already knocked out the tournament.

Clijsters became the first tennis player (man or woman) ever to rise from outside the Top 100 (No. 134) to No. 2 in the same year.



Recently, Clijsters has given indications that she will retire from tennis soon. "I think I will stop at the end of 2007. My body is already giving me a lot of problems," Clijsters said. Clijsters has had a career marred by several injuries including a career-threatening wrist injury. [1]

Clijsters is offered the directorship of the Gaz de France Stars tournament in Hasselt from 2009.



  • She became the second woman to reach at least the semifinals of all the tournaments she entered (except for her second round defeat in Toronto). Only Monica Seles duplicated that feat.
  • When she became world number one in August she not only became the first Belgian - man or woman - to accomplish that feat, she also became the first world number one without a Grand Slam victory (a feat later duplicated by Frenchwoman Amelie Mauresmo) and one of the few women to be both world number one in singles and doubles.


  • By winning in Indian Wells in 2005, she became the lowest ranked (No. 133) player ever to win a Tier-I event. In the final she beat American Lindsay Davenport in three sets: 6-4, 4-6, 6-2. This was Clijsters' second tournament after almost a year of inactivity. En route to victory she also defeated world no. 4 Elena Dementieva in the semifinals.
  • In Miami she became only the second player since Steffi Graf (1994-1996) in history to win the Indian Wells-Miami double. En route to victory she beat world no. 5 Dementieva in the quaterfinals, no. 2 Mauresmo in the semifinals, and world no. 3 Sharapova in the final.
  • She had a 22 match winning streak since August till October [wins in Los Angeles (5), Toronto (4), U.S. Open (7), Luxembourg (4) and Filderstadt (1)].

Trademark Move

Kim Clijsters is often written off by critics as "too nice", although she smacks her groundstrokes with authority and defends as if her life depended on it. In response to critics' complaints, she famously replied, "You don't have to hate your opponent to beat them." Upon defeating Maria Sharapova, Sharapova commented that Clijsters always forces her to "hit that extra shot." One of her trademark movements on the court that makes a Clijsters match so enjoyable to watch are her split squash shots. She hacks downward on the racket with an open face, creating a vicious underspin which neutralizes a ball. She owns this technique by doing a split on the courts as she executes this superb defensive tactic.

The technique doesn't necessarily allow for her to reach further, rather, it dissipates her momentum and allows her to make a quick recovery towards the center, thereby preventing the court from being opened up and giving her more time to take the next ball. Nonetheless many tennis experts say that her split maybe demands too much of her body - especially her legs and wrist (when she gets back up) - , so the chance of an injury is much higher.

Family life

She is the daughter of a succesful soccer player, Lei Clijsters and a Belgian gymnastics champion, Els Vandecaetsbeek.

She announced her engagement to long-time partner Australian player Lleyton Hewitt in November 2003, but they split up in October 2004. Her current boyfriend, the 27-year old American Brian Lynch, is a professional basketball player with the team of Clijsters' home town Bree.

She also has a younger sister named Elke, who like her sister was an accomplished junior player, and who finished 2002 as the ITF World Junior Doubles champion, but back injuries forced Elke to retire from her professional tennis career in 2004.

Grand Slam achievements

French Open finalist 2001 lost to Jennifer Capriati
Australian Open semi-finalist 2003 lost to Serena Williams
French Open finalist 2003 lost to Justine Henin-Hardenne
Wimbledon semi-finalist 2003 lost to Venus Williams
U.S. Open finalist 2003 lost to Justine Henin-Hardenne
Australian Open finalist 2004 lost to Justine Henin-Hardenne
U.S. Open champion 2005 defeated Mary Pierce

Titles (41)

Legend (Singles)
Grand Slam (1)
WTA Championships (2)
Tier I Event (5)
WTA Tour (22)

Singles (30)

No. Date Tournament Surface Opponent in the final Score
1. 20 September 1999 Luxembourg, Luxembourg Hard Dominique Monami (Belgium) 6-2 6-2
2. 10 January 2000 Hobart, Australia Hard Chanda Rubin (USA) 2-6 6-2 6-2
3. 30 October 2000 Leipzig, Germany Carpet Elena Likhovtseva (Russia) 7-6 4-6 6-4
4. 23 July 2001 Stanford, California, USA Hard Lindsay Davenport (USA) 6-4 6-7 6-1
5. 24 September 2001 Leipzig, Germany Carpet Magdalena Maleeva (Bulgaria) 6-1 6-1
6. 22 October 2001 Luxembourg, Luxembourg Hard Lisa Raymond (USA) 6-2 6-2
7. 29 April 2002 Hamburg, Germany Clay Venus Williams (USA) 1-6 6-3 6-4
8. 7 October 2002 Filderstadt, Germany Hard Daniela Hantuchová (Slovakia) 4-6 6-3 6-4
9. 21 October 2002 Luxembourg, Luxembourg Hard Magdalena Maleeva (Bulgaria) 6-1 6-2
10. 4 November 2002 WTA Championships, Los Angeles, USA Hard Serena Williams (USA) 7-5 6-3
11. 6 January 2003 Sydney, Australia Hard Lindsay Davenport (USA) 6-4 6-3
12. 3 March 2003 Indian Wells, USA Hard Lindsay Davenport (USA) 6-4 7-5
13. 12 May 2003 Rome, Italy Clay Amelie Mauresmo (France) 3-6 7-6 6-0
14. 16 June 2003 's-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands Grass Justine Henin-Hardenne (Belgium) 6-7 3-0 Ret
15. 21 July 2003 Stanford, USA Hard Jennifer Capriati (USA) 4-6 6-4 6-2
16. 4 August 2003 Los Angeles, USA Hard Lindsay Davenport (USA) 6-1 3-6 6-1
17. 6 October 2003 Filderstadt, Germany Hard Justine Henin-Hardenne (Belgium) 5-7 6-4 6-2
18. 20 October 2003 Luxembourg, Luxembourg Hard Chanda Rubin (USA) 6-2 7-5
19. 3 November 2003 WTA Championships, Los Angeles, USA Hard Amelie Mauresmo (France) 6-2 6-0
20. 9 February 2004 Paris, France Hard Mary Pierce (France) 6-2 6-1
21. 16 February 2004 Antwerp, Belgium Carpet Silvia Farina Elia (Italy) 6-3 6-0
22. 7 March 2005 Indian Wells, USA Hard Lindsay Davenport (USA) 6-4 4-6 6-2
23. 23 March 2005 Miami, USA Hard Maria Sharapova (Russia) 6-3 7-5
24. 13 June 2005 Eastbourne, England Grass Vera Douchevina (Russia) 7-5 6-0
25. 1 August 2005 Stanford , USA Hard Venus Williams (USA) 7-5 6-2
26. 8 August 2005 Los Angeles , USA Hard Daniela Hantuchova (Slovakia) 6-4 6-1
27. 15 August 2005 Toronto, Canada Hard Justine Henin-Hardenne (Belgium) 7-5 6-1
28. 10 September 2005 U.S. Open, New York, USA Hard Mary Pierce (France) 6-3 6-1
29. 2 October 2005 Luxembourg, Luxembourg Hard Anna-Lena Groenefeld (Germany) 6-2 6-4
30. 30 October 2005 Hasselt, Belgium Hard Francesca Schiavone (Italy) 6-2 6-3

Singles Finalist (14)

  • 1999: Bratislava (lost to Amelie Mauresmo)
  • 2000: Filderstadt (lost to Martina Hingis)
  • 2001: Indian Wells (lost to Serena Williams)
  • 2001: French Open (lost to Jennifer Capriati)
  • 2001: 's-Hertogenbosch (lost to Justine Henin-Hardenne)
  • 2002: Stanford (lost to Venus Williams)
  • 2002: Tokyo (lost to Serena Williams)
  • 2003: Antwerp (lost to Venus Williams)
  • 2003: Scottsdale (lost to Ai Sugiyama)
  • 2003: Berlin (lost to Justine Henin-Hardenne)
  • 2003: French Open (lost to Justine Henin-Hardenne)
  • 2003: San Diego (lost to Justine Henin-Hardenne)
  • 2003: U.S. Open (lost to Justine Henin-Hardenne)
  • 2004: Australian Open (lost to Justine Henin-Hardenne)

Performance Timeline

Tournament 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 Career
Australian Open - F SF SF 4r 1r - 0
French Open 4r - F 3r F 1r - 0
Wimbledon 4r - SF 2r QF 2r 4r 0
U.S. Open W - F 4r QF 2r 3r 1
WTA Tour Championships RR - W W SF QF - 2
Finals reached 9 3 15 6 6 3 2 44
Tournaments Won 9 2 9 4 3 2 1 30
Hardcourt Win-Loss 49-4 17-2 62-8 33-11 28-11 17-9 6-2 212-47
Clay Win-Loss 8-3 3-0 17-2 10-3 15-5 1-2 2-2 56-17
Grass Win-Loss 8-1 0-0 9-1 2-2 7-2 2-2 3-1 31-9
Carpet Win-Loss 2-1 0-0 2-1 6-1 8-0 10-4 8-2 36-9
Overall Win-Loss 67-9 20-2 90-12 51-17 58-18 30-17 19-7 335-82
Year End Ranking 2 22 2 4 5 18 47 N/A

Doubles (11)

No. Date Tournament Partnering Opponents in the final Score
1. 27 October 1999 Bratislava, Slovakia Laurence Courtois (Belgium) Olga Barabanschikova (Belarus) and
Lilia Osterloh (USA)
6-2 3-6 7-5
2. 21 May 2000 Antwerp, Belgium Sabine Appelmans (Belgium) Jennifer Hopkins (USA) and
Petra Rampre (Slovenia)
6-1 6-1
3. 12 August 2002 Los Angeles, USA Jelena Dokic (Serbia) Daniela Hantuchová (Slovakia) and
Ai Sugiyama (Japan)
6-3 6-3
4. 27 October 2002 Luxemburg, Luxembourg Janette Husárová (Slovakia) Květa Peschke (Czech Republic) and
Barbara Rittner (Germany)
4-6 6-3 7-5
5. 12 January 2003 Sydney, Australia Ai Sugiyama (Japan) Conchita Martinez (Spain) and
Rennae Stubbs (Australia)
6-3 6-3
6. February 16 2003 Antwerp, Belgium Ai Sugiyama (Japan) Nathalie Dechy and
Emilie Loit (France)
6-2 6-0
7. 2 March 2003 Scottdale, USA Ai Sugiyama (Japan) Lindsay Davenport and
Lisa Raymond (USA)
6-1 6-4
8. 8 June 2003 French Open, Paris, France Ai Sugiyama (Japan) Virginia Ruano Pascual (Spain) and
Paola Suarez (Argentina)
6-7 6-2 9-7
9. 6 July 2003 Wimbledon, London, Britain Ai Sugiyama (Japan) Virginia Ruano Pascual (Spain) and
Paola Suarez (Argentina)
6-4 6-4
10. 3 August 2003 San Diego, USA Ai Sugiyama (Japan) Lindsay Davenport and
Lisa Raymond (USA)
6-4 7-5
11. 19 October 2003 Zurich, Switzerland Ai Sugiyama (Japan) Virginia Ruano Pascual (Spain) and
Paola Suarez (Argentina)
7-6 6-2

See also

External links

Template:Tennis World Number Ones (women) Template:Top ten European female tennis players

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