Thursday, March 26, 2009

"The hunger is back."

So says Kim Clijsters, who announced today a slow-but-steady comeback to tennis. She plans to play some exhibitions, then start in Cincinnati, play Toronto and then the U.S. Open. (Good to see some players take that "Road Trip" campaign seriously.)
It'll be good for the game to see Clijsters back. It sure doesn't look like Maria Sharapova's coming back anytime soon, and all the players in the second tier right now seem content to stay there, and not challenge the Williams sisters. The question, though, is if injuries will continue to dog her, because if they do, she'll be making another quick exit from the game.
How-EVAH, should Clijsters come back and say, make the U.S. Open semis, it's really going to reveal some holes in the women's game. Not like they're not immediately obvious, but if a 25-year-old who took a couple of years off to have a kid can come back and go toe-to-toe with Jelena Jankovic or Dinara Safina ... well, that's remarkable, but not in a great way for Jankovic or Safina.
Clijsters was always a fun player to watch, and if she ever wanted to rack up the Grand Slam titles, this would be a good time to come back.
One more thing: Clijsters, in her press conference, said the urge to play again came almost immediately after practicing for exhibitions. She said, "We'll evaluate things after the U.S. Open and take it from there. What counts is that I simply feel like doing this right now!"
She feels like doing this right now, folks. I'm just going to throw this out there: You know, when you think retirement, you usually think about older people, because they've had time to think about it, make their mark on their career, and are now appropriately done with it. Kim. You're a kid. It's nice that you're back, but if you had taken a year off without retiring, it looks like you would have come back anyway. Here's a new tennis rule: No retirement press conferences for anyone under the age of 32. That's it!


yogahz said...

No more retirements - good call. How about "sabbatical"?

I think she'll do great - she's clear headed (i.e. she has other priorities), her husband and baby can travel with her (apparently he's retiring), there won't be pressure (underdog status).

I don't think she's going to dominate but it will be good to have her back.

TopSpin said...

"No retirement press conferences for anyone under the age of 32"


And no biographies before that age either...

Naf said...

Yogahz -- how about vacation? Geez!
Hi, ToopSpin. Well, Serena's got at least one. :)

Thomas Rooney said...

Do we think she can become a force in women's tennis again? I'm not convinced.

Excellent site by the way. Really enjoy reading it. Would you be able to email me when you get the chance?

There is something I would like to run by you.

Thanks a lot,


Naf said...

Hi, Thomas! The way women's tennis is these days, who knows? I could see her in top 50 by the end of the year. Easy. Thanks for reading!