Oprandi Topples Top Seed Clijsters
Published June 14, 2011 06:38
'S-HERTOGENBOSCH, Netherlands - Romina Oprandi's greatest career win in terms of ranking had been over then No.18 Kaia Kanepi in the first round of Rome in May. The Italian surpassed that significantly with a stunning 76(5) 63 upset of No.2-ranked and No.1-seeded Kim Clijsters in the second round of the UNICEF Open on Tuesday.
Watch Eastbourne & Den Bosch on WTA Live powered by Tennis TV!Clijsters was two points away from taking the first set at 5-4, 30-30 on Oprandi's serve but Oprandi held on and eventually took the set in a tie-break. In the second set she jumped out to a 3-0 lead that she would never relinquish. She said this was the biggest triumph of her career by far.
"I kept fighting and I made some good drop shots and I served pretty well, so that was the key," Oprandi said. "It's amazing. I can't really believe it because I always looked up to Kim and I still do because she's an amazing player and a really nice person, a real champion."
Clijsters appeared to slip and possibly injure her right ankle early in the first set but was able to continue. She originally injured that ankle dancing at a wedding and had to miss most of the clay court season.
"I'm going to have some more tests tonight or tomorrow morning and then I'll be able to give a more specific answer about the situation with my ankle," Clijsters said. "I feel like I was hitting the ball very well in practice. I was moving well. I wasn't really worried too much. It's frustrating because something like this with my ankle has to happen, and it kind of puts me back to where I was a few weeks ago. But that's what an athlete has to deal with sometimes."
Oprandi's defeat of Kanepi last month was one of only two WTA wins she had in 2011 before this week, but now she has doubled that total with two victories in 's-Hertogenbosch qualifying and two more in the main draw. The furthest she has ever gone in an event is the semifinals of Palermo last year, and she will match that if she can beat Kimiko Date-Krumm in her next match.
"We played once two years ago in qualies at Roland Garros," said Oprandi, who was victorious in that match. "It's going to be fun because she's a good friend of mine. Another big star!"
Date-Krumm beat Lourdes Domínguez Lino, 76(3) 60, to advance to her first quarterfinal of the year. Domínguez Lino served for the first set at 5-4, but only won one more game the rest of the way. Also Tuesday, the first round concluded, with seventh-seeded Roberta Vinci, Sara Errani, Jelena Dokic and Johanna Larsson all moving on.