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Old 08-28-2010, 09:46 PM   #1
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2010 US Open (Tennis)

Kim Clijsters at the 2010 US Open Draw ceremony


Oh...I have the shivers...not many things could distract me from a Wiesy-Shin showdown on Sunday...but the anticipation of the 2010 US Open is one of them. I always knew, even as a young tennis fan a loooooong time ago, that Wimbledon was...well...Wimbledon. Nonetheless, my childhood tennis fantasy was always to win the US Open, so as a lifelong fan, Open time (and when I say Open time I don't mean the Australian, French (Roland Garros), Italian or any other tennis Open) is like Christmas time! I will give my thoughts on some of the participants, but first here is a preview video...

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Old 08-28-2010, 09:50 PM   #2
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Kim Clijsters throws out the first pitch at a Mets game on 8/27/2010. Not many fans there with the Met's 9 games out trailing the Braves, Marlins and my Philadelphia Phillies...go Phillies!
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Old 08-28-2010, 10:00 PM   #3
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The New York Times Magazine did a little video with Kim Clijsters called the Beauty of the Power Game...and they're right, Kim is sweet and kind, a multiple winner of the tour's sportsmanship award...but her game is channeled power...she will blow the ball through you...and then give each cheek a kiss after she dismisses you from a tournament...

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Old 08-28-2010, 11:02 PM   #4
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With Serena Williams out with an injury, #2 ranked Caroline Wozniacki is the top seed. She is a tough out for anybody. When she is healthy, she is the proverbial human backboard, using her speed and steady strokes to get shot after shot back. In last year's final, Kim Clijsters won, but had to really work points to win. Caroline makes you hit that extra shot, and then another extra shot. She is also the hottest player coming into the Open, winning the two events prior to the Open, Rogers Cup and Pilot Pen.

That said, she has to show me she can finish a Major with a win before I pick her to win one. Yes, she has the talent to win, but her body often betrays her. And winning Pilot Pen is one thing. Winning the US Open...well, I know she can get to the final...but even that could be a test as a potential fourth round clash with the resurgent Maria Sharapova looms...if both players make it to the fourth round, that match could produce the finalist from the top half of the draw.

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Old 08-28-2010, 11:44 PM   #5
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And speaking of Maria Sharapova, she is coming in off an injury...that's not a good sign. She looked really good in her losing match against Kim Clijsters in the Western and Southern final. In fact, she was in control and had her chance to win in two sets. Clijsters fought back, aided by Sharapova's injury and a weather break, and the match slipped away from Maria. But if Maria can play the way she played at that tournament, she can win the US Open again. Here's the catch though, she has to make it out of the first three rounds. Now, how can I pick Maria as a favorite to win the Open and also be worried that she might not make it to the second week? Well, that's her inconsistency and the injury factored in. I don't know if she will be at full strength going in. If she is anywhere near full strength, then I know she gets up for the Majors. She fought Serena hard in her fourth round loss at Wimbledon. I just get the sense that Maria is getting closer and closer to being the player she once was.

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Old 08-29-2010, 12:21 AM   #6
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One player I'm looking at to see what she might do is Coco Vandeweghe. Last year, Melanie Oudin was the darling American. Could Coco be this year's Cinderella? Well, Oudin was a much more accomplished player, despite Vandeweghe winning the 2008 US Open Girls' championship. Honestly, she could lose in the first round. But she plays Sabine Lisicki. Not a world beater. She lost to Lisicki in their only matchup in 2008. Despite that, Coco can beat Lisicki if she's on her game. If Coco does prevail, she will probably face Wimbledon finalist (and mental tsunami) Vera Zvonareva in the second round. Coco's biggest pro victory came a few weeks ago against Zvonareva. Last year, Oudin's run was set up by getting past the first round and then stunning Elena Dementieva in the second round. Might Coco follow the same course in getting past the first round and upsetting a top player in the second? The odds are heavily against it in a Major, but it's not impossible. It would be a great story if it happens.

A note: Coco is the granddaughter of former NBA player Ernie Vandeweghe and former Miss America, the late Colleen Kay Hutchins. She is also the niece of former NBA player Kiki Vandeweghe.
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Old 08-29-2010, 10:53 AM   #7
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It'll be tough for Oudin to repeat last year's magic. It would be amazing if she did it, though. Sometimes, like in golf, there are horses for courses. Maybe playing in the Open will spark Melanie the way playing for her country in Fed Cup does.

I would agree absolutely with her that the absence of Serena opens up the tournament for more players, but I would also add that Kim Clijsters was two points from beating Serena outright before Serena had that foot fault meltdown and lost two points for the foot fault (on a second serve), bringing up match point for Clijsters) and unsportsmanlike conduct, losing match point (because of an earlier racket abuse warning). But Kim was on her way to beating her anyway. In fact, Kim beat both Williams sisters at the US Open. Clijsters is the only player to beat both Williams sisters in the same tournament twice. Anyway, my point is, Serena would have been the favorite at Flushing Meadow this year, but by no means a lock, so whomever wins I would not diminish the accomplishment just because Serena is not there. Nobody in the locker room will, but I'm sure some in the press will.
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Old 08-31-2010, 12:50 AM   #8
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And they're off! Kim won her first round match, but although it was in straight sets, 6-0, 7-5 I don't like what I saw. She has a tendency to start out matches like a freight train and then just go away mentally. In this match, she threw down the bagel on Arn, only to have Arn go up 4-0 on Kim in the second set before Kim fought back to pull out the second set 7-5. Kim has done this a few times, notably twice against Vera Zvonareva at Wimbledon and then at Rogers Cup where she blasted Zvonareva in the first set and then lost focus in the second set...except she couldn't fight back against the better player and lost in three. Even last year when she won the US Open, she had a match with Venus Williams that Kim won 6-0, 0-6, 6-4. That's living dangerously in Majors. She has a good chance to win this event if she is focused, but if she continues to have mental lapses, her chances become slim.

But on a good note, here is a behind the scene video of her Mets first pitch.
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Old 08-31-2010, 08:35 PM   #9
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I feel kind of bad to see Kimiko Date Krumm lose her first round match to former US Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova. Of course, that was the expected outcome, but I was pulling for Kimiko. Players such as Kim Clijsters and Justine Henin have come back from retirements of a few years. Kimiko Date Krumm, who was Kimiko Date in her earlier playing days before marrying German race car driver Michael Krumm, came back in 2008 after 12 years away from the game. She will be 40 years old next month. This is no Legends Tour comeback, she is playing on the main tour, sometimes against players half her age. She has one win on the WTA tour since her comeback, which is amazing. And even though she has a 9-12 record this year, most of her losses have come against the top players. And some of those losses, like today against Kuznetsova 2-6, 6-4, 1-6, have either been tight two setters or three setters. Kimiko has taken top players like Svetlana, Elena Dementieva, and Victoria Azarenka the distance. So in my opinion, she is playing extremely well for a nearly 40 year old player who was away from the game 12 years.
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Old 08-31-2010, 10:10 PM   #10
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I can't believe I missed this months ago when this happened...I was just looking around the net for tennis info and stumbled on this...you'd think as big a Clijsters fan as I am I would have known this already...last year at the US Open, one of the enduring images of the event was Kim and her daughter Jada running around the court and playing with the trophy...the makers of Barbie decided to make a Barbie doll of Kim and Jada! Pretty cool!

Kim & Jada Honored!
February 4th, 2010

After her triumphant return to the WTA Tour last summer, Kim Clijsters and her darling daughter Jada have been immortalized...as Barbie dolls! Yesterday in Nuremberg, Germany at the world's largest toy fair, Kim and her daughter Jada were unveiled as Barbie dolls! Kim becomes the first female athlete to be immortalized by Barbie.

As reported by the Associated Press & Down the Line Tennis, Kim said,

When I was a young girl I played with my Barbie dolls all the time and took them with me everywhere I went. I am therefore deeply honoured and humbled as I today join the ranks of iconic women who represent Barbie's aspirational values.

My family means everything to me, so I was really excited when I found out that Jada would also receive her very own 'Jada Barbie' doll.


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