Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
Kim Clijsters waves goodbye to fans at the US Open after her defeat to Laura Robson
Kim Clijsters waves goodbye to fans at the US Open after her defeat to Laura Robson

US Open: Kim Clijsters bows out of tennis after surprise Robson defeat

Belgian star Kim Clijsters said goodbye to tennis after a surprise second-round defeat to Britain's Laura Robson which marked the end of her final professional tournament.

NEW YORK // Kim Clijsters said goodbye to tennis the way she played it - with a smile on her face.

The 29-year-old had previously announced that the US Open would be her final professional tournament, but the end had not been expected to come so soon.

Clijsters looked in control at 5-2 up in the first set of her second-round match against 18-year-old British player Laura Robson, but the teenager got better and better and eventually ran out a 7-6 (7/4) 7-6 (7/5) winner.

It was the biggest victory of Robson's career and, although Clijsters still has doubles to come, hopes of a fairytale ending for the three-time US Open champion are now over.

The Belgian said: "I think the first hour after the match there was still disappointment and a little bit of frustration. I still had that routine of going through the match and trying to figure out how to do it better next time.

"But obviously now, after talking and thinking about the retirement in singles, I'm happy.

"I'm happy that in the last year and a half or even two years it's been kind of up and down, and I'm happy that I stuck through it.

"I'm in a way proud of myself that I was able to do that. So I feel happy. I have doubles tomorrow, so I've got to stay focused."

Clijsters has had a remarkable run at Flushing Meadows, winning the title on her last three appearances in 2005, 2009 and 2010.

In the intervening years the Belgian was either injured or in her first period of retirement, when she had daughter Jada, and her last loss in New York came in the final in 2003, when Robson was just nine years old.

Robson spoke after the match about what a great role model Clijsters has been, and the reaction to her retirement from within the tennis world has been heartfelt.

Clijsters added: "It does something to you when you hear other players talk about me like that. Obviously in these two rounds that I've played here, I've played players that I spoke to and they said that I inspired them.

"That's a great feeling, because I was once in that situation as well. You think about those kind of things now. Now that I'm almost completely finished, you think about when I first stepped on tour and met Steffi Graf and Monica Seles.

"It's been an incredible journey and a lot of dreams for me have come true because of tennis.

"As a little girl, I got tennis racquets under the (Christmas) tree and outfits of Steffi Graf and Monica Seles and I would want to wear them to bed I was so excited.

"So for me to have been able to have been a part of women's tennis, and on top of women's tennis for so many years ... you don't think about it when you're in it.

"Now that I think about it, it's been a crazy rollercoaster at times. All of a sudden when you're 15, you get thrown in the spotlight, you go through puberty in the spotlight, you have your first boyfriend in the spotlight, everything.

"It's not just the tennis side of things that you think about now, it's about life. We've had a lot of things happen in these last 15 years that I've been on tour.

"I'm able to look back at them and I'm very happy with the progress that I've made."

Robson, who reached the third round at a grand slam for the first time, next faces ninth seed Li Na, who recovered from 4-0 down in the second set to beat Australia's Casey Dellacqua 6-4 6-4.

sports@thenational.ae

twitter Follow us @SprtNationalUAE

Back to the top

More articles


Editor's Picks

 Al Rayyan's Yakubu Ayegbeni, left, tries to escape the attention of Jazira's Khamis Ismail. Karim Jaafar / AFP Photo

Late strike puts Al Jazira on verge of qualifying for the last 16 of Asian Champions League

All to play for across East Asia during final round of group phase.

 Manchester City's Vincent Kompany reacts after being sent off by referee Lee Mason during their English Premier League soccer match against Hull City at the KC stadium in Hull, northern England March 15, 2014. REUTERS/Nigel Roddis

Man City’s Manuel Pellegrini says Vincent Kompany is an important player

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini defends team captain and talks about team's injuries ahead of clash with Sunderland at home on Wednesday night.

 Supporters of China during the Asian Cup Qualifier match between Iraq vs China at Sharjah football stadium in Sharjah. Iraq won the match by 3-1. Pawan Singh / The National

Asian Cup expanding to 24 football teams in 2019

As part of a regional shake-up, the 2019 Asian Cup will climb to 24 teams but next month’s Challenge Cup in the Maldives will be the last, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) announced.

 Latifa Ali Al Shamsi of UAE fights compatriot Boshra Ghanem Al Zadjali in their 38.5kg match at the Junior World Jiu-Jitsu Championship. Christopher Pike / The National

Competitors at Abu Dhabi Junior World Jiu-Jitsu Championship target world domination

All of Wednesday’s winners at the tournament, being held in the UAE capital, are ambitious enough to target a black belt and reach the pinnacle of the sport, Amith Passela reports.

 Jacques Kallis top-scored with 72 for Kolkata Knight Riders against Mumbai Indians at Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday. Pawan Singh / The National

Kallis kicks off IPL 7 with fifty as Kolkata thrash Mumbai

South African legend shows class is permanent as Knight Riders beat defending champions by 41 runs. Osman Samiuddin reports from Abu Dhabi.

 Amir Khan, during a workout at the Gloves Community Centre on March 24, 2014 in Bolton, England, says his fight will be the real main event in Las Vegas on May 3. Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Amir Khan says bout with Luis Collazo ‘will steal the show’ in Las Vegas on May 3

British-Pakistani boxer Amir Khan says his fight with Luis Collazo will be the main attraction on same fight card led by Floyd Mayweather Jr and Marcos Maidana, writes Omar Al Raisi.

Events

To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National