Kim Clijsters, by claiming the Australian Open title, won
her first Grand Slam outside the US.
At the same time, considering the true world number one
Serena Williams was not there, Clijsters also showed she was the best player in
the world in Melbourne.
After the US Open and Masters Cup in 2010, she has started
2011 perfectly with her fourth Grand Slam title.
But her victory was interesting because she didn't play her
best tennis throughout the tournament.
She actually won because of her fighting spirit and the way
she refuses to lose. Last year's terrible loss (6-1 6-0) against Nadia Petrova now
seems like a distant memory. Kim feels stronger than ever, stronger than all
I think she felt a lot of pressure during the fortnight at
Melbourne Park and this may have been the reason why she played poorly in some
But she remained convinced she was going to win and that
made the difference.
Her fitness, especially her explosiveness and flexibility,
allows her to counter punch and defend like nobody else.
She also knows how to play an offensive game with a lot of
variation to her shots at the moment she hits the ball. Her footwork takes her forward
so she keeps stepping into the court and she always hits ascending balls.
She's also still very quick and those are all the reasons
why she's the most efficient player now.
Clijsters had to fight hard to get past Li Na, the surprising finalist who beat her the week before in Sydney.
Despite the break-up of her relationship with her coach Thomas Hogstedt at the end of last year, the Chinese player certainly found the strength to improve further.
She boasts a technically accurate game, very solid and aggressive.
Her forehand still betrays her from time to time but it's now way steadier than it used to be.
Her backhand could be classed as the perfect example and she's flawless when it comes to playing it short on the diagonal, very fast or down the line.
Now ranked seventh in the world, she still has room for improvement.