No.1 Spotlight: Kim Clijsters
Published June 22, 2013 12:00
Despite being just 22 at the time, this victory had been a long time coming; Clijsters, and her brand of athletic, all-court tennis had been entertaining crowds - and picking up silverware - since she slid onto the scene as bubbly teenager in the late 1990s.
The Belgian's big breakthrough came a few years later, in 2001, when she reached the final in both Indian Wells and the French Open. Unfortunately for Clijsters, both occasions ended in runner-up speeches, a scenario that would become all too familiar over the coming years as she lost out in four further major finals.
Once she had rid this monkey from her back in 2005, though, there was no looking back. Clijsters won three further Slams - all of which came after the birth of her first child - and a whole host of other silverware to prove once and for all that nice girls can indeed finish first.
• Four-time Grand Slam winner, with titles at the US Open in 2005, 2009 (which was her first Grand Slam back after more than two years away from the game) and 2010, and at Australian Open in 2011
•Also among her 41 WTA titles were WTA Championships triumphs in 2002, 2003 and 2010
• Among her 11 WTA doubles titles were two Grand Slams - at Roland Garros and Wimbledon in 2003 alongside Ai Sugiyama
• 2005 US Open was fifth Grand Slam final, making her the only female player in the Open Era to lose four finals and go on to win a major
• At 2009 US Open became first wildcard to win a Grand Slam title, the first mother to do so since Evonne Goolagong Cawley at 1980 Wimbledon and the only unranked player to do so besides Goolagong Cawley at the 1977 Australian Open
• Became 13th player and first Belgian to hold No.1 singles ranking on August 11, 2003; also held No.1 ranking in doubles, becoming only the fifth player in WTA history to hold No.1 singles and doubles rankings simultaneously
• In 2001, helped Belgium win first Fed Cup title
• Only player to beat Serena and Venus Williams at the same tournament twice (2002 WTA Championships and 2009 US Open)
• Her $24,442,340 earned in prize money is fourth most in WTA history
• Won WTA's Most Impressive Newcomer Award in 1999
• Won WTA's Karen Krantzcke Sportsmanship Award in 2000-03, 2005-06, 2009, 2012
• Won WTA's Peachy Kellmeyer Player Service Award in 2003, 2006 and 2010
• Won WTA's Comeback Player Of The Year Award in 2005 and 2009
• Won WTA's Player Of The Year Award in 2005 and 2010
• Won 'Comeback of the Year' at 2009 Laureus Awards