Former world number one Kim Clijsters couldn’t have marked her comeback to tennis better – the mother of a year-and-a-half old girl upset world No.13 Marion Bartoli 6-4 6-3 in the first round of the Western & Southern Financial Group Women’s Open in Cincinnati.
“To have won my first match feels really good,” said Clijsters, 26, who hadn’t played competitively for two years. “I surprised myself a little with the way I started and then I kept fighting and trying to stay focused. I felt good out there.”
Clijsters lost just five points on her way to a 4-0 lead in the first set. Bartoli then levelled before the Belgian took two more successive games to win the opening set. In the second set, Clijsters had saved two break points in the third game, before breaking Bartoli’s serve in the following game for a 3-1 lead. Clijsters then held her nerve to defeat Bartoli, the titlist at this month’s Bank of the West Classic, and advance to the second round where she’ll face Patty Schnyder.
Additional info: Eleventh seed Ana Ivanovic recovered from losing the first set to beat world No.61 Melanie Oudin (the famous eliminator of Jelena Jankovic at this year’s Wimbledon) 2-6 6-1 6-1 and reach the second round, while ninth seed Victoria Azarenka beat Kaia Kanepi 6-3 7-6(2).