Clijsters shifts from low to great U.S. Open expectations
By Larry Fine
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Last year, Kim Clijsters came to the U.S. Open with no expectations, an unknown factor in a grand slam event she had won the last time she played it.
Her New York City fortnight ended with her curly-haired 18-month-old daughter Jada cavorting with the silver winner's trophy on center court and Clijsters reigning as a shining example to working mothers everywhere.
Times change, and the Belgian defender now looks to salvage a disappointing grand slam season by retaining her crown.
"For these last few weeks I've been preparing for the Open. I've been trying to get my game back," the 27-year-old Clijsters told reporters after her 6-0 7-5 first-round victory against Hungarian Greta Arn on Monday.
"Just to come out there and defending my title, I've never been in that position," said Clijsters, who stretched her U.S. Open winning streak to 15 in a row.
Clijsters began her win streak by capturing the 2005 U.S. Open, but missed the next year's event due to a wrist injury and then quit tennis for two years to start a family.
She became the darling of Flushing Meadows with her rousing run in 2009, but this year's slams have told a different tale.
Clijsters started the year by falling in the third round at the Australian Open, missed the French Open due to injury and was eliminated in the quarters at Wimbledon. Continued...