Clijsters tested in opening win at U.S. Open

Mon Aug 30, 2010 4:39pm EDT
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By Larry Fine

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Defending champion Kim Clijsters of Belgium overcame a second-set scare to defeat Greta Arn of Hungary 6-0 7-5 in the first round of the U.S. Open Monday.

Clijsters sailed through an 18-minute opening set on a sun-kissed Arthur Ashe center court but fell behind 4-0 in the second set before roaring back to seize command.

The second-seeded Belgian ran off 12 straight points to pull within 4-3 and then broke in the 10th game and again in the last game to close out the match.

"I was just excited to go out there," Clijsters said about getting her title defense under way. "I'm happy with the way I served. That's been a stroke that I've been paying a lot more attention to during my practicing the past few weeks."

Clijsters won 78 percent of her first-serve points and registered three aces.

It was the 15th successive Open win for Clijsters, who last year scored an inspirational triumph in her return to grand slam tennis after taking two years off to start a family.

Clijsters began her current win streak by winning the 2005 U.S. championship, but missed the next year's tournament due to a wrist injury and then stepped away from the tennis circuit.

The 27-year-old Belgian treated the big center court crowd to a near-perfect opening set at Flushing Meadows.   Continued...

<p>Kim Clijsters of Belgium hits a return to Greta Arn of Hungary during the U.S. Open in New York August 30, 2010. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque</p>