Not a good day at the office for Kim
KIM CLIJSTERS crashed out of the Australian Open in a shocking 6-0 6-1 loss to 19th-seeded Nadia Petrova yesterday.
Clijsters, who won the US Open in September in only her third tournament back from two years off to get married and have a baby, seemed distracted as she won only five points in an 18-minute first set in her third-round match at the Australian Open.
It barely got better for her in the second, when she held serve only once. Clijsters made the match last 52 minutes by saving two match points, but was never in contention.
The loss ends any chance of a quarter-final between Clijsters and fellow Belgian comeback player Justine Henin, who advanced to the fourth round earlier yesterday with a threeset win over Alisa Kleybanova.
The magnitude of the defeat was astonishing given that Clijsters had beaten Henin in a three-set final at a warmup event at the Brisbane International on January 9 and had won two titles in her five previous tournaments since coming back.
The lopsided scoreline would rank among Clijsters’ worst. She only won four games in a 6-0 6-4 loss to Henin in the 2003 French Open final.
Clijsters had only dropped one set in four previous wins over Petrova, whose best runs at the Grand Slam tour na- ments ended in semi-final losses at the French Open to Clijsters in 2003 and Henin in 2005. Clijsters had reached the semis or better at her five previous trips to the Australian Open, including a loss to Henin in the 2004 final. – AP
BLOW OUT : Clijsters lasted just 51 minutes.