Doha contender: Kim Clijsters
Originally published on: 20/10/10 11:05
Birthplace: Bilzen, Belgium
WTA ranking: No.5
Season best: Winner – Brisbane, Miami, Cincinnati, US Open.
Season win/loss record: 36-6
Prize money (2010): $3,585,060
Record vs. top eight: Caroline Wozniacki 1-0; Vera Zvonareva 6-2; Francesca Schiavone 11-0-; Sam Stosur 4-0; Jelena Jankovic 6-1; Elena Dementieva 11-3; Victoria Azarenka 2-1
2010 Grand Slam record: Australian Open R32; Roland Garros DNP; Wimbledon QF; US Open W
WTA Championship best: Making seventh appearance; winner in 2002 and 2003
Season review: The Belgian again looked as if she hadn’t been away winning three ranking event titles before capturing her second successive US Open title.
In her first full season after coming back with a bang last summer, 2010 was to be the year where she could make a serious impression on the world’s elite.
And it did not take long for the 27-year-old to lay down her marker, defeating compatriot Justine Henin 6-3 4-6 7-6(6) in the Brisbane final.
In this type of form following her glorious return at Flushing Meadows, many were expecting her Grand Slam prowess to shine through again at the Australian Open. Unfortunately Clijsters was unable to reach those heights and crashed to a 6-0 6-2 defeat against Nadia Petrova in the third round.
After the below par performance the Belgian did not return until Indian Wells in March, where she fell in the second round.
The following tournament in Miami proved to be another successful event for Clijsters. In a high-class field the Beligian ousted Petra Kvitova, Shahar Peer, Victoria Azarenka, Sam Stosur, Justine Henin before completing a 6-2 6-1 victory over Venus Williams.
The result not only gave Clijsters her 37th ranking event title but also pushed her into the top ten for the first time since 2005.
The transition to clay was to be a disappointing period for her. The former world No.1 was knocked out the Marbella championship to the No.258 ranked Beatriz Garcia Vidagany before injuring herself in a Davis Cup tie against Estonia.
The foot injury was a big blow to the Belgian and caused her to miss the rest of the clay court season.
But after making her comeback in Eastbourne the Belgian was in good shape for Wimbledon. Clijsters began well defeating Maria Kirilenko and then taking care of Henin in three sets but came unstuck against Vera Zvonareva in the quarters.
Despite the disappointment, she was able to pick herself up to capture her third title of the year in Cincinnati. A quarter final in Montreal followed giving her excellent preperation going into the final slam of the year.
Unlike last year, Clijsters’ road to the final was not as smooth. She had to dig deep against both Sam Stosur and Venus Williams in two tight three setters, but in the final she demonstrated her Grand Slam pedigree losing a mere three games against Zvonareva to capture her third US Open.
Since that success there were slight concerns as she was forced to pull out of the China Open to have a mole removed. She has not played for seven weeks, but expects to be fit for the season finale.
Last year’s WTA Championship: DNP
Quotes on Doha: “A year into my comeback, making the WTA Championships is a great achievement to me – certainly a personal highlight and goal,” said Clijsters. “I’ve never been to Doha so it will be exciting to travel there. It’s a place I’d like to see and learn about.”
Chances: Since her return last year Clijsters has demonstrated her class against the best and holds winning records against all seven of her potential competitors, highlighting why the Belgian is one to look out for.