Experience counts for Clijsters
Originally published on: 24/01/12 08:59
In so doing, the Belgian not only helped strip the Dane of her World No.1 ranking, but for the second time this tournament she beat a higher ranked opponent having ousted No. 5 seed Li Na to get to the quarter-finals.
When asked about what made the difference in her bout with Wozniacki, Clijsters, featuring in her 33rd main draw appearance at a Grand Slam, credited her victory to having been in this place many times before.
“Experience, I guess, and yeah, just on the inside trying to fight for each shot,” she explained. “Even if you’re not playing your best tennis like I have been in the last couple matches, you always feel like you’re in the match. That’s a good feeling to have.”
Wozniacki attributed her defeat, in part, to her opponent’s strategy. “I thought Kim started off really strong,” she said. “She put the pressure on me from the beginning.”
Echoing Clijsters earlier sentiments, Wozniacki continued: “Kim is very experienced. She’s a great player.
“You know, even though she had a break of two years, she was still able to come back and play at a very high level. You can definitely learn something from them (Kim and Serena).”
On the physical front, although Clijsters said she was not troubled by the ankle which she twisted during her match with Li Na, she felt a little queasy on court. “With all the medicine I’ve been taking [my stomach] is probably more upset than anything,” she admitted.
Her preparation was not so much about focusing on the match but based around the routine of icing her ankle and keeping her foot up.
“I had a light hit yesterday without really sidewards movement, just try to get a feel for the ball, and then back to the icing and all that same routine all over again,” she added.
Clijsters has refused to have a scan on the ankle.
“I already had a scan on my neck a couple days ago. I said ‘no more’. Whatever it is, it is. I’m going to try to make the best out of it. Then we’ll see when I get home how I’m feeling. I have seen more hospitals these last six months than anything, so no more for me.”
Clijsters’ journey through the draw seems to be pushed by a willing mind, even if the body isn’t playing ball. She will face Victoria Azarenka in the semi-finals where the body will almost certainly be tested to its limits again.