Kim Clijsters still strong at the 2009 US Open, reaches finals as Serena Williams gets penalized


I fell asleep and missed the much-awaited semifinal between former No.1 and 2005 US Open champion Kim Clijsters and current world No.2 and 11-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams, to wake up with the news that Clijsters progressed (wow!) and that the victory was quite controversial.

Since I didn’t watch the match, I have to say that for me the fact that wildcard Clijsters reached the final leaves a much greater impression than the controversy. I mean, who could put their money on Kim prior to the US Open? We all knew she was a great champion, and had a great potential even after child-birth and playing just the third tournament of her 2009 comeback, but a Grand Slam final is a very high goal. Not to mention that the title is not far away for Kim, having in mind her opponent will be world No.8 Caroline Wozniacki, who had never before went further than the fourth round at a Grand Slam.

Now let’s see what brought about the controversy. Serving at 5-6 15-30, the second-seeded Williams was called for a foot fault on a second serve, giving Clijsters two match points. The outraged Williams said a lot of things to the lineswoman, which resulted in a penalty and losing the point and the match.

“I swear to God I’m… going to take this… ball and shove it down your… throat, you hear that? I swear to God,” said Williams, who will now not overtake Dinara Safina at the top of the rankings.

It’s unfortunate that a match I was playing so well in had to end that way,” said Clijsters after a 6-4 7-5 victory. “The normal feelings of winning a match weren’t quite there, but when everything sunk in a little bit and what happened got explained to me, it became easier to understand, not to celebrate, but at least to have a little joy.”

The Belgian is the first player ever to beat both Williams sisters at the same tournament twice, having also done it at the Sony Ericsson Championships in 2002 (at the 2009 US Open she beat Venus in the fourth round).

If Clijsters wins the final, she will enter the Top 20 and become the first women’s wildcard to win a Grand Slam singles title, and if she loses she will rise to around No.30 in the rankings.

Let’s just give some space to the other semifinal as well. Apparently, there will be no all-Belgian final at this US Open, as Danish Caroline Wozniacki defeated unseeded and error-prone Belgian Yanina Wickmayer 6-3 6-3 in the other semifinal. The surprise semifinalist Wickmayer made 40 unforced errors, compared to Wozniacki’s 14.


  1. I didn’t watch either match because I was hanging out with a friend. When I came back, I saw that Caroline and Clijsters both one. Caroline I kinda expected to win. Then I saw that Serena, I was kind of surprised that Serena did that. I don’t think Kim wanted to win the match like that. I don’t think anyone predicted this final when the tournament started. I know I didn’t.

  2. Women’s tennis is unpredictable, and everyone new everyone could reach the finals, but still we can’t help being surprised.

  3. What tha fuck was that???

    Serena is a crazy biaaatch!

    She need to be banned of the US Open, she can kill judges!!!

    God, was scary!!!

  4. Oh God this is too much drama. But it’s no surprise Serena was and is and will always be like this. She didn’t really change much from her teenage years. Aside from the way she talks in her press conference and interviews, this was another reason I didn’t really like her in the first place.

    I’m sorry for Kim that instead of getting her moment to celebrate the victory it ended this way. She even said that the feeling of a victory wasn’t there. A point penalty at match point wasn’t really necessary I guess, I mean, especially how it would affect the winner.

    By the way, I think Goran Ivanišević was the first wildcard to win a Grand Slam. Remember Wimbledon 2001? It was made into a movie starring Kirsten Dunst. 😛

    Or unless you mean women, then I think she’ll be the first. And the lowest ranked to do so as well, since she’s unranked (she needs to play 3 tournaments in order to get a ranking and this is her third). Congratulations Kim, bring the title home!

  5. I could only watch part of the second set, I thought that this match was going to be postponed. From what I saw Mrs. K.C. had more power and angle on her shots. It looked to me Serena was surprised of Mrs. K.C. power and what frustrated Serena was the angles of Mrs. K.C. shots which were over matching Serena. Serena was also not effective in her first serve. I don’t think that was a foot fault. Had Serena the right to be angry? Of course, she could have gotten away with a few words, but in her frustration and anger she lost it, and walking towards the official was the icing on the cake. I agree with the decision that was taken. I feel bad for Mrs. K.C. she played an excellent match it shouldn’t have ended this way. I also think this line official should not work in big events or matches, that call was horrible.

    Lays Guerrero, Wickmayer hit a line judge in a previous tournament that she played in, I believe it was the final. To my knowledge her price money and points that she accumulated for the the entire tournament including doubles were taken away from her. I don’t know if she was banned from future participation of that tournament. If you talk about a “Crazy biaaatch”, Wickmayer is in front the line.

  6. Yes i also agree with the decision.. serena shouldn’t have done that never never!!! under any pressure.. no excuses! unacceptable behavior from her that has all the experience in the world!!

    yes the call was maybe in a moment of high tension but there was no reason to react like she did!!

  7. I think that the line judge should be terminated for her mistake. Serena wasn’t playing at her best because she let her emotions get away from her. But for this line judge to make such a stupid mistake at such a crucial time and to pull this power play against a star athlete of Serena’s calibre seems really silly.

    Yes it was silly for Serena to get caught up in the emotions of the moment, after all she’s trained or should be trained to use those heightened emotions intelligently and properly, but it was even more ridiculous for this line judge to get caught up in her own emotional turmoil. After all she has nothing of value on the table. She made a significant error of judgement and her job is all about judgement. She’ll go down in history as the lame game ending judge of the U.S. Open ’09.

  8. I didn’t get to see the full match because I was asleep but from what I saw afterwards Serena’s behaviour was totally uncalled for. I feel sorry for Kim that she had to lose that way and it was a shame that the match had to end in the manner that it did because the tennis had been fantastic up until that.

  9. I hope that Kim will make up for the feeling of victory taken away from her in the semifinals when she lifts the trophy after the final.

    Teerin, I was thinking the women’s singles title.

    Mentari, Serena said: “I swear to God I’m… going to take this… ball and shove it down your… throat, you hear that? I swear to God.”

    Carlos, you’re right, Wickmayer was guilty of that incident, although I don’t know the consequences. I heard Serena will need to pay a penalty.

    It was a strange decision by the judge, but she should have kept her composure. Serena can’t accept defeat, and everyone knows that. Although, her comments after the match are a bit perplexing, she said: “If she called a foot fault, she must have seen a foot fault. I mean, she was doing her job. I’m not going to knock her for doing her job.”

  10. Wow…I cannot still overcome what happened yesterday. How unprofession and disgusting!

    I never liked her, actualy I kinda dispised her rude behaviour, but now I lost SO much of the minial respect I had fro her game that she cannot regain it ever AGAIN!

    I bet if if she was not American, she would be in a waay worse situation…and maybe even suspended for a longer time! I watched her press conference and the reporters acted as though nothing happened… pitiful!

    GOOD JOB CLIJSTERES…you are going to beat Wozniacki 6-3 6-3!!

    All the best Marija!

  11. Marc, there’s no way the judge did anything wrong. No camera angle conclusively showed whether there was or wasn’t a foot fault. Besides a foot fault is the easiest call to make and likely hardly ever is called incorrectly. The judge remained very composed and professional throughout. Kudos to her.

  12. I feel bad both for Serena and Clijsters.
    That’s a stupid way both to loose and win.
    Being a dane, of course I hope for Caroline Wozniacki to win the final.

  13. Bb, I think Serena’s already in a bad situation, I don’t think her nationality will help her in any way.

    RichF, I’m glad you mentioned the judge. Nobody’s talking about the judge’s feelings. I bet she is feeling horrible, and much worse than Serena.

    Alice, you’ll be like the only one rooting for Wozniacki, sorry. 😛 I’m totally fine with Wozniacki, but this time Clijsters is by far fan favorite.

  14. Serena should be absolutely ashamed of herself and I really don’t see that she has truly apologized for her behavior. Americans should no longer support her as a representative of the US at any venue. She, like many excellent athletes, often believe that they can justify their deplorable behavior as a result of the heat of the moment, as if they earned it by their excellent athletic ability — this is always a very poor and unacceptable excuse. It is a true champion that can handle themselves well under the most intense of moments — obviously Serena is not a true champion. Even after all of these years, she has not figured this out. Tiger Woods can often be heard dropping F-bombs (he too needs to grow up). I found it ironic that John McEnroe, as a commentator, was reprimanding her for her actions — wasn’t he the father of similar despicable behavior? Her actions speak very loudly about our society too — if anyone tries to come to her defense, they are just a guilty, and should be ashamed of themselves as well. I will no longer watch tennis when she is playing.

  15. Oh please Steve, you make it sound like she killed a baby on center court. Yes it was bad behavior and she should have apologized. I’ve seen far worse on a tennis court many times.

  16. RichF haha “you make it sound like she killed a baby on center court” hahaha.

    I agree with Steve Hietpas’ statement “Even after all of these years, she has not figured this out.” – yeah, Serena has 11 Grand Slams, hasn’t that given her enough experience to mature in all the aspects of the game?

  17. It’s funny – I was reading another blog (, and they blogged about BOTH Serena and Kanye. Shouldn’t Serena get a bigger punishment?


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