Belgium's Clijsters feels at home at U.S. Open

Fri Sep 3, 2010 5:35pm EDT
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By Matt Majendie

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Kim Clijsters might be nearly 4,000 miles away from her native Belgium but it is home life that occupies the thoughts of last year's U.S. Open winner and the most famous mom in tennis.

Clijsters, who celebrated her win last year by bringing her baby daughter Jada on court, has a house on the same street where her parents used to live in Bree, while her grandparents live two doors down.

But home life with her basketball-playing husband Brian Lynch is split between Belgium and the couple's second home in New Jersey, not far from the scene of her finest tennis hour 12 months ago at Flushing Meadows.

Her nearby residence and her fairytale story from 2009 where she won the title in only her third tournament since returning to the sport has clearly tugged at the heartstrings of the American public.

As a result, the U.S. Open is very much a home grand slam for Clijsters, who eased into the fourth round with a 6-3 6-0 win over Czech Petra Kvitova on Friday.

"I mean, it's home," she said in reference to the New Jersey house "The house here and in Belgium are both home. I think you create that home atmosphere wherever you are."

Clijsters received rapturous applause from spectators inside the Arthur Ashe Stadium throughout her latest match and remains among the favorites to win here for a third time.

The secret to the 27-year-old's success has been a settled family life - she celebrated her third wedding anniversary shortly after her Wimbledon quarter-final exit.   Continued...

<p>Kim Clijsters of Belgium serves to Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic during the U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York, September 3, 2010. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque</p>