The story appears on

Page A14

September 16, 2009

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Sports » Tennis

Clijsters says not in race to boost ranking

DESPITE needing just a month to hurtle from nowhere to 19th in the world rankings, new US Open champion Kim Clijsters has no intention of racking up the air miles to pursue a rise to the top of the standings.

The Belgian was hailed as the poster girl for working mums around the world when she became the first mother to win a grand slam singles title since Evonne Goolagong triumphed at Wimbledon in 1980.

During her victory charge, the 26-year-old beat sisters Venus and Serena Williams before toppling ninth-seeded Caroline Wozniacki 7-5, 6-3 in the final.

Remarkably, Clijsters lifted the title in just her third tournament back after taking a two-year hiatus and although she rejoined the grand slam winners' club so swiftly, taking care of her 18-month-old daughter Jada remains the Belgian's priority.

"As a mother now, everything around you needs to be happy before I can go out there and play good tennis and be relaxed on the court," Clijsters told invited reporters on Monday, stifling a yawn after managing only two hours' sleep in the wake of her unexpected success.

"In the past you would have pushed yourself a little bit more in those kind of situations (when you are chasing ranking points) but that's something I'm not going to do.

"Obviously, I've been through a lot of those situations and even now I'm not going to say 'oh I want to be top 10 by the end of the year'. I can go to Asia and play those tournaments but I'm not.

"I'm just going to go home and make sure that I'm there for my sister when she has her baby in a few weeks. I want to share that moment."

During the first phase of her career, Clijsters spent 19 weeks at the summit of women's tennis and won 34 singles titles, including the US Open in 2005. However, the flip side of that success meant she was unable to attend a lot of important family events. This time, she is not prepared to go down that same road.

"When you're young, you miss a lot of those big occasions in the family. That's why it's nice to now be able to make my own schedule. My grandpa turned 80 (five years ago and I missed that)," the Belgian added.

She typically gets up each morning around 7am to make sure breakfast and Jada's bottle are ready before her daughter wakes up. Then Clijsters often trains for a couple of hours in the morning, returning in time to make lunch. During Jada's afternoon sleep, she may do stretching or other exercises.

"Obviously in Belgium things are going to be a lot more hectic now again for me when I get back home," Clijsters said. "I just want to make sure it doesn't influence Jada too much, that she still has that normal life."

Clijsters is scheduled to compete in Luxembourg from October 19 but has yet to set her plans beyond that. All she knows is she'll play the majors and other top tournaments in 2010.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend