Petrova Pummels Clijsters at Australian Open; Henin Survives
by Staff | January 22nd, 2010
  • 19 Comments

It wasn’t suppose to go that down that way but it did. US Open champion Kim Clijsters had dominated her opponent, Nadia Petrova, in four prior meetings, but it wasn’t the mama Kim’s night. In a full-out assault, Petrova unleashed hell on Clijsters burying the Belgian 6-0, 6-1 in the third round of the Australian Open.

“I was completely off,” Clijsters said following the 52-minute match. “Just, you know, I think tennis-wise, I didn’t feel the ball at all. You know, on the other hand, you know, she was good.

“I made all the mistakes and she didn’t really have to do much. She served really well and was aggressive in the rallies, but that’s because I let her play into the courts. Just because I wasn’t feeling the ball well. It sucks.”

Petrova, who had won just one set of nine in her four prior meetings with Clijsters, was more than pleased with her performance..

“I played very well,” Petrova said. “I didn’t give her chance for her to start playing her game. I really put pressure from the first point, you know. I stayed close to the line. I was really observing her pace. Also, you know, coming up with the big shots. You know, I made very difficult for her. She had to come up with something unbelievable.”

The one game Clijsters won was the fewest of her career. The loss also ended her 9-match Grand Slam win streak dating back to her US Open title run.

Justine Henin was a bit more fortunate. The former Australian Open champion was on the verge of being sent out by Russian Alisa Kleybanova who was up a set and a break on the Henin before faltering 3-6, 6-4, 6-2.

After an impressive win Wednesday night over World No. 5 Elena Dementieva, Henin figured to have an easy road against the big-hitting Kleybanova.

“I’m happy I’m in the fourth round,” said Henin. “I kind of survived a little bit today.But, no, it’s always good to win this kind of match because I came back from nowhere. It was so difficult for me after last match. Physically I suffered a little bit in the last two days. I wasn’t feeling the energy enough to be able to compete at my level.”

Henin now faces another Belgian, Yanina Wickmayer, in the fourth round on Sunday.

Also in third round action on Friday, Jie Zheng earned a second straight trip to the Australian Open fourth round after a 5-7, 6-3, 6-0 win over (11) Marion Bartoli. Former No. 1 and 8-seed Jelena Jankovic was upset by the hot-handed (31) Alona Bondarenko 6-2, 6-3. The Ukranian Bondarenko had lost all nine meetings with Jankovic until Friday. Bondarenko has won eight straight matches including her Hobart title run.

Second-seeded Dinara Safina quietly rolled over Britain’s Elena Baltacha 6-1, 6-2. The 2009 Australian Open finalist now earns a date with fellow Russian Maria Kirilenko, a 7-5, 7-6(4) victor over Roberta “Da” Vinci “Code”.

Reigning French Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova is on at night against Angelique Kerber.


Also Check Out:
Henin, Zheng Win; Venus, Serena Williams Next in Oz
Henin Reaches Brisbane Final in First Event Back, Meets Clijsters
WTA Previews: Henin, Clijsters in Brisbane; Auckland No Top 10
Henin Overcomes Wickmayer Test, Petrova Next at Australian Open
Clijsters Saves Match Points, Tops Henin for Brisbane Title

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19 Comments for Petrova Pummels Clijsters at Australian Open; Henin Survives

been there Says:

What an assault for Kim…back to earth after a cinderella USO. Welcome to the real WTA, where anyone can plummel anyone 6-0, 6-1, whatever the ranking or quality of player, ok, maybe except Serena, een when she’s losing. Love her or hate her, Serena’s special.

The spin machine seems to be fully on for Kim. Funny to note how the two players view it differently. According to Kim, she ‘let’ Petrova win easy:
“I made all the mistakes and she didn’t really have to do much. She served really well and was aggressive in the rallies, but that’s because I let her play into the courts. Just because I wasn’t feeling the ball well. It sucks.””

But Petrova sees it very differently!
“I didn’t give her chance for her to start playing her game. I really put pressure from the first point,….”


DMB Says:

nooooooooooooooo, Kim’s out:( no more women’s australian open for me. Let federer win and i’ll be happy again:)

(so no jinxing please Sean)


jane Says:

I am happy for Zheng, who beat Bartoli; she bageled her in the last set. The first two sets took 1 hour each.


MMT Says:

been there: Without having seen the match, it’s hard to imagine that if Clijsters was close to “on” Petrova would have won, let a lone given up just one game.


been there Says:

Yes MMT; maybe so, maybe not…but isn’t that the case for all top players? The thing about top players, both in WTA & ATP, is that they find a way to win or at least keep it close when losing, even when they’re ‘off’ and having a very bad day. Unless it’s an injury, in which case there’s nothing they can do. What exactly caused her to be so ‘off’, to, in her own words, “not feel the ball at all” especially it being a GS? From the interview, nothing before the match.

That’s what separates the very best from the rest, yes? Surely, we do not expect Kim to sustain the levels she showed at USO day in day out. Then, she was completely fresh; now, she’s more or less into the rigours of the tour & she must find a way of keeping it competitive, bad day or not ‘coz there are always going to be hot-streak lower ranked players going for the big scalp, especially at GS.

Also, she hasn’t really played that much since USO. It is quite impossible to sustain competitive levels with such little play. I still don’t really don’t know how high she can sustain her level week in week out. So due to that, I can’t say for sure if she had been ‘on’, she wouldn’t have lost. ‘coz I simply don’t know what her day in day out ‘on’ currently is. The next two or three months should be revealing.

Otherwise, all this ‘off’ is spin…& they all do it, be it Rafa, Fed, or Serena, Clijsters, Henin. When they lose, especially to a lower ranked player, there’s always an excuse, be it injury or ‘bad day’ or simply ‘off’. Very rarely is it complete congratulations to the opponent.

And there’s nothing wrong with that, it’s part of sports & makes it interesting…but it’s still spin. Sometimes, the other player simply plays super, or theie type of play doesn’t allow the more accomplished opponent to play their game, even when they’re ‘on’.

Besides, Petrova is ranked 19th, Kim 15th. Yes, Kim won the USO, but Petrova is not a ‘walk-over’ type of player. On or not, it was gonna be a fight. Before today, in the 4-0 H2H to Kim, they last played in 2005, way before Kim retired. Twice (in ’02 & ’03) when Petrova was ranked out of the #169 & #76 & in twice in ’05, when Petrova was in the top 20, one of the matches went to 3sets.
http://www.sonyericssonwtatour.com/headtohead/nadia-petrova_2255881_6564/0,,12781~6564~1583,00.html

Petrova has improved so much since then. So imo, yes, I expected Kim to win, but I din’t expect it to be easy for her at all. Maybe even win in 3 or 2 tight sets.


Veno Says:

Hi all!!!

What a great men’s tourney so far!!! Could it get any better? Good times for tennis!

The women’s side….hmm, still not overjoyed, but it has been worse. At least as usual there’s plenty of drama. Ivanovic and Jankovic…..What happened?….JJ wants to return to the top position? Keep on dreaming dear….And Ivanovic….Oh my, it’s just painful to watch…She can’t even toss a tennis ball above her head!!!

A professional, GS winner, Multi-millionaire tennis pro, not able to toss a ball 3-5 ft above her head!!! And she blames it on squeezing the tennis ball in stead of just loosely gripping it. Imagine having a job in an office, where you’re not even able to turn on the computer and start your standard operating programs!!! Your A.S.S. would get fired!!!

Agree with MMT on the Clijsters-Petrova match, and having seen the match….unfortunately Kim had an inexplicable off-day, she looked like an average club player.
Props to Petrova for making her pay maximum for it though. Best way to do it….punish it!

Unfortunately though, the OZ Open is much worse off to have Petrova in the 4th RD in stead of Kim. But that’s the way the cookie crumbled. Petrova a never slam-winner for sure.

Henin showed some bottle and that’s good to see, but to be honest…..bar an injury, there is just no way Serena won’t win here. She looks top nodge and fit, filled with desire!!!

At least my cutie Ma-Kiri is through. Hope she beats Safina for her best ever result in a Slam, but hard to see it happen with Safina in this form and happy going about her business in the shadows as an underdog.

Looking forward to tonight’s play!!!

Everybody enjoy the tennis!!!!

Greets


Giner Says:

MMT Says:

“been there: Without having seen the match, it’s hard to imagine that if Clijsters was close to “on” Petrova would have won, let a lone given up just one game.”

What caused her to not be ‘on’? Does this kind of thing just happen randomly to a player? Has it ever happened in her career before?

I think it’s just a lame excuse, and it sounds like either Serena or Venus prepared the press-room answers for her.

The unforced errors were Kim’s fault, but Petrova hit 15 winners to only 5 for Kim. Some credit where it’s due please. A player can be off, but to be so off that they win only 1 game is hard to believe.

Her opponent had something to do with it. I’m offended and insulted that someone can think that if Kim was ‘remotely close’ to being ‘on’ that Petrova would not have won. She played awesome that match. Had Kim been ‘on’ she might or might not have won, it would have been close. If she was only close to being on, it would have still been a defeat, but she would have won more than 1 game.

Petrova played great, Kim didn’t. End of story.

I find this kind of excuse of playing badly to be disrespectful, and frankly I thought Kim was above it (an injury is a different matter). Why didn’t you just play better if it was on all your racquet? It’s what I’d have expected from the Williams sisters, but Kim has always been a class act, usually giving more credit to her opponents than is due. This is an aberration.


been there Says:

MMT, I just replied to 1:33pm with a long post but it’s disapeared..not sure if I clicked something wrong. If it re-appears, apologies for the double post.
———————————————————
I’m not totally convinced about what you’re saying. I expected Kim to win, but with a fight, in two tight sets or in three. Kim is ranked 15th, & Petrova 19th. So Petrova is not a ‘walk-over’ type of player.

Before today, in the 4-0 H2H to Kim, they last played in 2005, way before Kim retired; twice in ’02 & ’03 when Petrova was ranked #169 & #76, and twice in ’05, when Petrova was in the top20. (put the htttp & www before the link below…seems like it’s what causing me problems))
**sonyericssonwtatour.com/headtohead/nadia-petrova_2255881_6564/0,,12781~6564~1583,00.html**

And this matter of being ‘on’, top players find a way to either keep it competitive when losing, (if not win, even when they’re off or having a very bad day.) Unless it’s an injury, in which case there’s nothing they can do. From her interview Kim says she prepared well, & was mentally present, but once the match began “It was just really like my arms, and I ‑‑ like I said, I wasn’t hitting the ball. Like, yeah, everything was too soft.”

Yes, Kim won the USO, where she was in amazing form and fully deserved it but she was completely fresh then…now, she into the rigours of the tour, so I still don’t know what her ‘on’ is day-in, day-out…’coz we can’t expect her to sustain the USO levels every single time. There are going to be many ‘off’ days…that’s when to raise the game.

So this being ‘off’ is spin, and they all do it…be it Fed, Rafa, Serena, Clijsters or Henin. Rarely is it a full congratulations to the ‘lesser’ opponent…there’s always an injury, ‘off day’, very bad day, not feeling the ball, etc. And nothing wrong with that…it’s part of sports and what makes it interesting. It happens in all sports. But it’s still spin. Sometimes, the ‘lesser’ opponent has studied the game & prepared to the T (which seems to be the case from Petrova’s interview…she says she went in with a game plan), and plays really well or their style of play doesn’t allow the more accomplished player to play well.


Giner Says:

Here’s a video summary for those who missed this spectacular demolition:

http://www.foxsports.com.au/story/0,8659,26622347-23209,00.html

Kim, next time, play better or STFU.


Veno Says:

Couldn’t disagree more Giner.

Objectively, Kim’s assessment was spot on. And she did credit Petrova. The fact she emphasized that her having an off-day gave Petrova, who was playing well and punished Kim rightfully, the chance to pummel her wasn’t meant disrespectful towards Nadia (nor did I interpret it that way)

Can Petrova beat Kim on any day…..sure. But to beat her 0 and 1 when Kim would be playing her average standard is just ludicrous. And 15 winners is not much at all winning 0 and 1 with all due respect.


been there Says:

MMT, I just replied to 1:33pm with a long post but it’s disapeared..not sure if I clicked something wrong. If it re-appears, apologies for the double post.
———————————————————
I’m not totally convinced about what you’re saying. I expected Kim to win, but with a fight, in two tight sets or in three. Kim is ranked 15th, & Petrova 19th. So Petrova is not a ‘walk-over’ type of player.

Before today, in the 4-0 H2H to Kim, they last played in 2005, way before Kim retired; twice in ’02 & ’03 when Petrova was ranked #169 & #76, and twice in ’05, when Petrova was in the top20.
(**when I put the link, everything disappears, so this can be checked on WTA website head-to-head**). Petrova has improved so much since then.

And this matter of being ‘on’, top players, both in WTA & ATP find a way to either keep it close when losing, or still eke a win, even when they’re off or having a very bad day.) Unless it’s an injury, in which case there’s nothing they can do. From her interview Kim says she prepared well, & was mentally present, but once the match began “It was just really like my arms, and I ‑‑ like I said, I wasn’t hitting the ball. Like, yeah, everything was too soft.”…reminds me of the comment Fed made about his arms when he lost to Davy in that Dubai exho, which set off ‘fed is injured- will he manage AO?’ …and a few days later, ‘coz he was being asked about it all the time, he had to put out a statement to say he’s ok to stop it all.

Yes, Kim won the USO, where she was in amazing form and fully deserved it but she was completely fresh then…now, she into the rigours of the tour, so I still don’t know what her ‘on’ is day-in, day-out…’coz we can’t expect her to sustain the USO levels every single time. There are going to be many ‘off’ days…that’s when to raise the game.

So this being ‘off’ is spin, and they all do it…be it Fed, Rafa, Serena, Clijsters or Henin. Rarely is it a full congratulations to the ‘lesser’ opponent…there’s always an injury, ‘off day’, very bad day, not feeling the ball, etc.

And nothing wrong with that…it’s part of sports and what makes it interesting. I quite like it. It happens in all sports. But it’s still spin. Sometimes, the ‘lesser’ opponent has studied the game & prepared to the T (which seems to be the case from Petrova’s interview…she says she went in with a game plan), and plays really well or their style of play doesn’t allow the more accomplished player to play well.


been there Says:

Hi Veno!

Nice to see you back. Yeah, it’s all good times in tennis. Is Fed giving you scares in Australia? I’m looking forward to the Fed-Davy showdown – should they both reach there, seeing that anything can happen. Go Davy!!…noooo GO FED! lol.

“Ivanovic and Jankovic…..What happened?…”
I don’t know about JJ, but Ivanovic has been following her golfer boyfriend around the world since her heartfelt ‘I’m taking a long break’ statement after being bundled out early in USO. She’s in love and nothing else matters at the moment. How else to explain this continued slump? lol. We’ve been through injuries, lack of confidence, off days, too much play, not had a real holiday in a long long time….love is the only logical explanation that is left.


Veno Says:

Hey, thanks been there for the warm welcome :)

Concerning Ivanovic: “It must be love, love, love….”

And Fed did scare me in RD1, well rather Andreev scared me lol!!!

Fed didn’t play bad but wow did Andreev hit a heavy ball in sets 1 and 3!!! He hit very smart angles with his Cross Court BH’s making Fed chipping his BH for Igor to walk around it as soon as he got the chance to hammer his FH hard and deep! I was impressed!!!I guess Ma-Kiri beating Shriekapova the day before lifted his confidence and made him think: “Yes, we can!”

Kudos for Fed to deliver the goods when it counted most! Gotta respect that!!!

And good for Andreev to get some form back and play some good tennis again…He’d lost 10 of his last 11 matches….Ouch!

And the men’s game is brilliant so far!!! There’s no 1 favourite, there are 8 to 10 who could win!!!! Good times!!!!

Davy-Fed in the quarters….Hope Kolya doesn’t drink too many Vodka-Red Bulls before hand and listens to his wife!!!

It will be his true test but boy, mouthwatering prospect!!! I give it 55-45% for Fed to win.

DelPo-A-Rod…..FIREWORKS!!!!

Murray-Rafa!!!!!!! Need we say more?

And Tsonga-Djoker…..Can Jo-Willy get his revenge? Or will the Djoker hip-swing-giggle him off the court yet again?

It’s good to be a tennis fan right now…

And….It’s the OZ-Open!!! Still waiting on the BIG SURPRISE getting through to the final!!!

Who will spoil the Big Boys’ Party this year?
Cilic? Can Baggy or Gonzo get a trip down to memory lane in their booklets?

Big John Isner?

How about Tommy Haas getting to the Final?

Oh well, Andy Roddick could run away with it if he keeps his form….

Exciting times indeed!!!!


been there Says:

“He’d lost 10 of his last 11 matches….Ouch!” Re: Andreev

Wow..didn’t know that. So that basically means he lost in rnd1 at least 10 of the last 11 times…that is 11 tournaments, if I’m interpreting it correctly. Indeed OUCH! I thought this type of thing is specially reserved for the talented Gulbis. No wonder everyone expected Fed to win easy despite their ’08 USO encounter. Then perhaps he just played well, or like many have said, it’s a match-up thing…a mini-Rafa type of play. I’ll keep an eye on him in future. I do hope he’s truly got his form is back & not just a match-up thing…the more players playing well, the better for us viewers.

“Hope Kolya doesn’t drink too many Vodka-Red Bulls before hand and listens to his wife!!!”

& Wife says no to babies now! Davy wants to have babies like Fed & Hewitt, but wife says NO, tennis first…she’s scared that the whole babies thing will make him drop in ranking. lol. He’s a funny one. I’m glad his good performance is making us see more of his other side instead of the boring betting questions. I think he’s quite enjoying it, and why not, he deserves it after many years in the shadows.

I’m a bit torn on this one..I mean, sweet16 for Fed and/or continued semi-final streak…but I’m also enjoying watching Davy. He’s always had the game, just a big-time chocker…now that te confidence is finally here, why not a GS, or beat Fed at a GS to fully prove he’s truly one of the BIG boys? hmmm, better stop imagining, they first have to get there.

“And Tsonga-Djoker…..Can Jo-Willy get his revenge?”
Tsonga is a head-case. You just never know. But if it comes, for sure, one exciting match.

Re Haas: No, I can confidently (*cough!*) say that he won’t get to the finals. One of his many ailments and/or injuries will flare up just when he’s serving for the semi-final match; match-point 2sets to 0 up, at 5-3, 40-0. lol. So it won’t be a choke at all, just one of those nightmare things. Then his opponent, whoever it’ll be, will will. He’s simply that unlucky!


been there Says:

Apologies to ALL, esp MMT for those three posts at 2.44, 3:16, & 3:42 pm….triple post saying the same thing

I first replied at 2:44, but nothing appeared, so I thought I’d accidentally refreshed or done something wrong. So I wrote another post (but copied it, just in case,) and this time I was careful, but still, nothing appeared at 3:16! So I decided to try remove the link at 3:42pm when I pasted my previously copied link and the problem was solved – it appeared immediately.

Even after my 5:12 post on a completely different topic, the first two had not appeared. But now I see they’re all there.

Massive apologies. I’ve not gone completely crazy with the point I was passing. lol. It’s not all that important, and yeah, losing 6-0, 6-1 is surprising for any player ranked in the top20, even if it’s just WTA. So I suppose it’s not the loss, but the score that’s surprising.

Neither am I trying to spam the boards. Little embarrassments *blushes*. Sorry.


Von Says:

This was one of those ‘bad days at the office’ for Clijsters! However, Petrova played a very good match, imposing her game plan (which she seemed to have in place) and did not allow Clijsters to impose hers. There’s not much more can be said for what happenend yesterday in that match.

Here’s an ESPN link/article on the match.

http://app.bronto.com/public/?q=ulink&fn=Link&ssid=10573&id=kxcyowefihbt7t6j9koomyb93ufib&id2=6wqiua95wtby6dq5wwgbikxwdbbws&subscriber_id=betguzfgrhrivqqswzylqspoowstboh&delivery_id=bbvzbygewwthzhyjnpjdktjifthcbon


Von Says:

Staff: please fix word wrap. I believe I messed it up by posting that link. My apologies!!


tennis served fresh Says:

Henin won by a thread. If it wasn’t for Kleybanova running out of steam, Henin would have been dismissed. I’m sure she’ll be out in the next round….honestly, you can be serving around the 40% mark and expect to win. She’s got a lot of pressure from the media as well as Clijsters win at the USO…come back kid? nah, just in it for the $$


sar Says:

And good for Andreev to get some form back and play some good tennis again…He’d lost 10 of his last 11 matches….Ouch!

VENO:
As crazy Justin Gimel-slob would say, Igor gets Kirilenko as a consolation prize. I hope she or Petrova win it all now.

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