Published April 08, 2010 12:00
MARBELLA, Spain - Winning one of the biggest tournaments of the year on hardcourts then days later transitioning to clay may have been too much to ask, even for one of the greatest players in the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour's history. Kim Clijsters was ousted by unheralded Spaniard Beatriz García Vidagany in the second round of the Andalucía Tennis Experience on Thursday.
Fresh off winning Miami on the weekend, Clijsters came straight across the ocean to Marbella for her first clay court tournament in nearly three years. Seeded No.3, she ground out a three set win over Alexandra Dulgheru in the first round on Wednesday, but the winning streak came to an end in the second round on Thursday as she lost to qualifier García Vidagany, 75 46 64.
Clijsters held three set points late in the first set and also had her chances in the third before García Vidagany won 11 of the last 14 points of the match.
"I feel disappointed with the way I played. I played a really bad match. I felt mentally drained," Clijsters said. "Maybe the change from Miami came too quickly, but I played a good player today. She didn't make any mistakes.
"Marbella has been really great though. It's beautiful here and everyone working here was so nice. You really want to do well here - it's a shame I lost today."
This is García Vidagany's first main draw on the Tour. She had played qualifying twice before but this was the first time she made it out of the pre-tournament, and she won her first Tour-level match in the first round against Kristina Barrois. The 21-year-old lefty, whose win over Barrois was her first over a Top 100 player, didn't take long to carve out her first career Top 10 win.
Top 2 seeds Victoria Azarenka and Flavia Pennetta both won in straight sets. Azarenka, the No.1 seed, commented on Clijsters' loss and her own clay court form: "I never look too far into the tournament. I look match by match, so I don't really focus on how other players are doing. I just focus on my next match and how I'm playing. And after two matches this week I feel pretty comfortable on clay - I'm moving well and playing well, so I hope it's just the beginning."
In another early upset, Sara Errani defeated No.7 seed Anabel Medina Garrigues, 61 76(1). Medina Garrigues had set point at 6-5 in the second set but lost it and was then nearly blanked in the tie-break. No.8 seed Carla Suárez Navarro and qualifier Simona Halep were the other two winners.
The No.2 seeds in doubles narrowly escaped. Virginia Ruano Pascual and Meghann Shaughnessy saved two match points down 62 54 and rallied from 4-8 in the tie-break to beat Tatjana Malek and Selima Sfar, 26 75 1210.