Clijsters completes fairytale return
Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:48
Clijsters, 26 and playing on a wild card invitation, defeated ninth seeded teenager Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark 7-5 6-3 at Arthur Ashe Stadium in just the 14th match and third tournament since coming out of a 27-month retirement during which she became a mother for the first time.
Eighteen-month-old daughter Jada was in the stadium to see Clijsters become the first mother to win a grand slam since Evonne Goolagong Cawley beat Chris Evert to win Wimbledon in 1980.
Clijsters had lost four grand slam finals before finally winning the 2005 US Open, her last trip to New York and she made 19-year-old Wozniacki wait a little longer for her maiden slam victory by defeating the Dane in an hour and 33 minutes.
Clijsters was returning to Ashe less than 24 hours after beating Serena Williams following the defending champion’s now infamous verbal abuse of a line judge, the subsequent point penalty handing the wild card the match.
After being presented with the trophy she held in 2005 but did not defend, Clijsters said: “I don’t have words for how I’m feeling – I’m just glad I got to come back to defend my title from 2005!
“It’s been so exciting for me. I just wanted to get back to playing tennis.
“The support I’ve received has been crazy. Even from the first round, how warmly everyone welcomed and embraced me. It helped me keep fighting and stay focused.”