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Coached by Carlos Rodríguez since age 14 ... Favorite surface is clay; backhand is strongest shot ... Favorite place to visit is Montréal, where her godfather lives ... Most admires Steffi Graf for elegance on court and all she accomplished ... Took up skydiving following 2004 Olympic win ... Hobbies include cinema and music.
Winner (43): 2010 - Stuttgart, 's-Hertogenbosch; 2008 - Sydney, Antwerp; 2007 - Dubai, Doha, Warsaw, Roland Garros, Eastbourne, Toronto, US Open, Stuttgart, Zürich, WTA Championships; 2006 - Sydney, Dubai, Roland Garros, Eastbourne, New Haven, WTA Championships; 2005 - Charleston, Warsaw, Berlin, Roland Garros; 2004 - Australian Open, Sydney, Dubai, Indian Wells, Olympics; 2003 - Roland Garros, Dubai, Charleston, Berlin, San Diego, Toronto, US Open, Zürich; 2002 - Berlin, Linz; 2001 - Gold Coast, Canberra, 's-Hertogenbosch; 2000 - ITF/Liège-BEL; 1999 - Antwerp, ITF/Reims-FRA; 1998 - ITF/Gelos-FRA, ITF/Grenelefe-USA, ITF/Ramat Hasharon-ISR; 1997 - ITF/Le Touquet-FRA, ITF/Koksijde-BEL.
Finalist (18): 2010 - Brisbane, Australian Open; 2007 - Miami; 2006 - Australian Open, Berlin, Wimbledon, US Open; 2005 - Toronto; 2003 - 's-Hertogenbosch, Leipzig, Filderstadt; 2002 - Gold Coast, Antwerp, Amelia Island, Rome; 2001 - Wimbledon, Hawaii, Filderstadt.
Winner (2): 2002 - Gold Coast (w/Shaughnessy), Zürich (w/Bovina); 2000 - ITF/Cergy Pontoise-FRA (w/Razzano); 1998 - ITF/Ramat Hasharon-ISR (w/Clijsters).
Finalist (1): 2001 - Filderstadt (w/Shaughnessy).
Belgian Fed Cup Team 1999-03, 2006, 2010; Belgian Olympic Team 2004.
Career in Review
1996 - Played first event of career on ITF Circuit in Spain.
1997 - Won two singles titles on ITF Circuit.
1998 - Won three singles titles and one doubles title on ITF Circuit.
1999 - Turned pro on January 1; won title in first WTA event played at Antwerp (as No.178 WC, d. Pitkowski in final); QF twice; reached 2r twice (incl. Roland Garros); fell 1r twice (incl. US Open); won one singles title on ITF Circuit.
2000 - QF three times; reached 4r once (US Open - made Top 50 debut afterwards) and 2r eight times (incl. Australian Open); fell 1r once (Wimbledon); withdrew from Roland Garros w/arm injury; won one singles title and one doubles title on ITF Circuit.
2001 - First Top 10 season; won first three WTA titles at Gold Coast (d. Farina Elia in final), Canberra (d. Testud in final) and 's-Hertogenbosch (d. Clijsters in final); reached first Grand Slam SF at Roland Garros (l. to Clijsters 26 75 63; led 62 42) and first Grand Slam final at Wimbledon (l. to V.Williams), runner-up twice more, at Hawaii (ret. vs. Testud in final) and Filderstadt (l. to Davenport in final); reached QF at WTA Championships (l. to S.Williams).
2002 - Second Top 10 season; won two WTA titles, at Berlin (d. S.Williams in final) and Linz (d. Stevenson in final); runner-up four times, at Gold Coast, Antwerp, Amelia Island (l. to V.Williams in all three finals) and Rome (l. to S.Williams in final); reached QF at WTA Championships (l. to Clijsters); won lone two WTA doubles titles to date at Gold Coast (w/Shaughnessy) and Zürich (w/Bovina).
2003 - First No.1 season; SF or better in 18 of 19 events played (exception was QF at Miami); won first two Grand Slam titles at Roland Garros (d. S.Williams 62 46 75 in SF, having trailed 4-2 third set; d. Clijsters in final) and US Open (d. Capriati 46 75 76(4) in SF, having trailed 5-3 second set and 5-2 third set; 19 hours later, d. Clijsters in final); other six titles came at Dubai (d. Seles 46 76(4) 75 in final; saved mp at 64 54 down), Charleston (d. S.Williams in final), Berlin (d. Clijsters 64 46 75 in final; saved 3mp down 5-4 third set), San Diego (d. Clijsters in final), Toronto (d. Krasnoroutskaya in final) and Zürich (d. Dokic in final); runner-up three times, at 's-Hertogenbosch (ret. vs. Clijsters in final w/left wrist and finger sprain), Leipzig (l. to Myskina in final) and Filderstadt (l. to Clijsters in final); reached SF at WTA Championships (l. to Mauresmo); began year at No.5, moved to No. 4 after Australian Open, to No.3 after Roland Garros, to No.2 after US Open and finally No.1 after winning Zürich (October 20).
2004 - Another Top 10 season; started year with three WTA titles at Sydney (d. Mauresmo in final), Australian Open (d. Clijsters in final) and Dubai (d. Kuznetsova in final) then ran streak to 16 matches to reach SF at Doha (l. to Kuznetsova); won fourth title of year at Indian Wells (d. Davenport in final) then reached SF at Amelia Island (l. to Mauresmo 67(4) 75 63; led 5-2 second set; stated felt weak during loss); withdrew from Charleston w/hypoglycemia and from Berlin and Rome w/cytomegalovirus; fell 2r in Roland Garros title defense (l. to Garbin; earliest exit for No.1 seed there since seedings introduced in 1925); withdrew from 's-Hertogenbosch and Wimbledon for recovery; still suffering from cytomegalovirus, withdrew from San Diego and Montréal; played for first time since May at Olympics (d. Mauresmo in final for gold medal); fell 4r at US Open (l. to Petrova) and on September 13 rankings dropped to No.4, ending 45-week reign at No.1; withdrew from Filderstadt, Zürich and WTA Championships w/cytomegalovirus.
2005 - Another Top 10 season; after withdrawing from Sydney, Australian Open, Doha and Dubai w/right knee injury, made season debut (after seven-month lay-off) in March at Miami, reaching QF (l. to Sharapova); then went on 24-match win streak on clay, winning four titles at Charleston (d. Dementieva in final), Warsaw (d. Kuznetsova in final), Berlin (d. Petrova in final) and Roland Garros (saved 2mp in third set of 76(6) 46 75 win over Kuznetsova in 4r; d. Pierce in final); was second Roland Garros champion in Open Era to save mp en route (after Myskina, who saved mp vs. Kuznetsova in 4r in 2004); only fourth woman to have unbeaten run on clay that ended in Roland Garros title, after Evert (1974-75), Graf (1987), Seles (1990); after withdrawing from Eastbourne w/right hamstring strain, fell 1r at Wimbledon (to Daniilidou); after withdrawing from San Diego w/right hamstring injury, made summer hardcourt debut at Toronto (l. to Clijsters in final); at US Open, l. in 4r to Pierce; after withdrawing from Luxembourg w/right hamstring strain, played only match of fall at Filderstadt (l. to Pennetta), then withdrew from Zürich, Linz and WTA Championships w/right hamstring strain.
2006 - Second No.1 season; won second straight Roland Garros title (d. Kuznetsova in final to become first player to win without dropping a set since Sánchez-Vicario in 1994) and first WTA Championships title (went 2-1 in RR, falling to Mauresmo; d. Sharapova in SF then Mauresmo in final); on November 13 year-end rankings rose from No.3 to No.1, her first time on top since 2004 US Open fortnight; runner-up at Australian Open (ret. vs. Mauresmo in final w/GI illness trailing 61 20, only second time in Open Era a player has ret. in a major final), Wimbledon (l. to Mauresmo 26 63 64 in final) and US Open (l. to Sharapova in final); won four more titles at Sydney (d. Schiavone 46 75 75 in final; trailed 4-1 second set and 5-3 third set), Dubai (d. Sharapova in final), Eastbourne (d. Myskina in final), New Haven (won when Davenport ret. down 60 10 in final w/right shoulder strain); also runner-up at Berlin (l. to Petrova); member of Belgian Fed Cup team that d. Russia in World Group 1r but l. to Italy in final (d. Pennetta, Schiavone in singles rubbers; w/Flipkens, ret. in doubles rubber vs. Schiavone/Vinci w/right knee injury).
2007 - Third No.1 season; won 10 of 14 events played and became first in WTA history to win over $5 million in a season (since surpassed by S.Williams' 2009 earnings); 10 titles included sixth and seventh Grand Slam titles at Roland Garros (d. Ivanovic in final; second player to claim three straight titles there in Open Era (Seles, 1990-1992) and US Open (d. Kuznetsova in final; d. S.Williams in QF and V.Williams in SF, first player to d. both Williams sisters in same Grand Slam and go on to win title, and just second after Hingis to d. both at a Grand Slam at all); one of 10 women to win seven or more Grand Slam singles titles in Open Era (also King, Court, Goolagong, Navratilova, Evert, Graf, S.Williams, V.Williams); other eight titles came at Dubai (d. Mauresmo in final), Doha (d. Kuznetsova in final; saved mp down 5-4 third set of QF win over Schnyder), Warsaw (d. A.Bondarenko in final), Eastbourne (d. Mauresmo 75 67(4) 76(2) in final; trailed 4-2 and 5-3 third set), Toronto (d. Jankovic in final), Stuttgart, Zürich (d. Golovin in both finals) and WTA Championships (went 3-0 in RR; d. Ivanovic in SF then Sharapova in final); 10 titles was first double digit season tally since Hingis' 12 in 1997; 5-0 record at WTA Championships improved her win streak to 25 matches, a personal best and the longest on WTA since V.Williams' 35 in 2000; four losses in phenomenal 63-4 record (a .940 winning percentage - highest since Graf's .977 season in 1989) came at Paris [Indoors] (in first event of year after missing Australian swing w/personal reasons; l. to Safarova in SF), Miami (l. to S.Williams 06 75 63 in final; held 2mp at 60 54), Berlin (l. to Kuznetsova 64 57 64 in SF; had completed QF win earlier in day) and Wimbledon (l. to Bartoli 16 75 61 in SF; led 61 53); no pre-SF losses all season; spent all but seven weeks of the season ranked No.1 (Sharapova held it for seven weeks after Australian Open); first woman to pass $5 million in season earnings ($5,429,586), passing previous all-time record holder Clijsters' $4,466,345 from 2003; withdrew from Sydney and Australian Open w/personal reasons.
2008 - Went 16-4 from January to May, winning 40th and 41st WTA titles at Sydney (d. Kuznetsova in final) and Antwerp (d. Knapp in final); QF three times, at Australian Open (l. to Sharapova, ending 32-match win streak), Dubai (l. to Schiavone) and Miami (l. to S.Williams 62 60; most lopsided loss for a reigning world No.1 since Hingis l. to Dokic in 1999 Wimbledon 1r by same score); reached 3r at Berlin (l. to Safina); withdrew from Rome w/fatigue then announced retirement from WTA on May 14 (first player ever to retire at No.1).
2009 - Did not play; in September, announced full comeback to WTA, to start at beginning of 2010.
2010 - Stellar comeback season later marred by injury (finished No.12); went 32-8 in first half of season, best results being finals in first two events at Brisbane (l. to Clijsters 63 46 76(6); held 2mp at 5-4 third set) and Australian Open (l. to S.Williams) and winning 42nd and 43rd WTA titles at Stuttgart (d. Stosur in final) and 's-Hertogenbosch (d. Petkovic in final); SF at Miami (l. to Clijsters 76 third set); reached 4r twice, at Roland Garros (l. to Stosur) and Wimbledon (l. to Clijsters); reached 2r once, at Indian Wells (l. to Dulko); fell 1r once, at Madrid (l. to Rezai); having begun season unranked (unranked WC in first three events at Brisbane, Australian Open and Indian Wells), emerged from last event of season at No.13 on July 5 (after Wimbledon); withdrew from all post-Wimbledon events w/right elbow injury (Cincinnati, US Open, Beijing) and finished at No.12 on November 8 year-end rankings; also withdrew from Sydney w/left gluteal strain.
2011 - Reached 3r at Australian Open (l. to Kuznetsova); announced retirement from WTA on January 26.