For most of the last 12 months, Belgium’s Kim Clijsters has been sidelined with a wrist injury. The former number-one player in the world had seen her ranking fall to 133.
But an amazing thing happened at the Pacific Life Open.
Playing in only her second tournament of the year, Clijsters shocked the tennis world by winning the tournament as she defeated top-seeded Lindsay Davenport of the United States, 6-4, 4-6, 6-2, in last Saturday’s women’s singles final.
Going into the final, Davenport, the number-one player in the world, looked like the heavy favorite after blanking 2004 Wim-bledon champion Maria Sharapova, 6-0, 6-0 in the semifinals.
Davenport, playing in her third straight Pacific Life Open final, jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first set and appeared to be heading towards an easy victory.
However, Clijsters turned the tide and won the next six games to capture the first set.
The Belgian took control of the match in the third as she broke Davenport’s serve twice to clinch the victory.
“It’s amazing. After we shook hands, I was sitting on the chair and I just couldn’t believe it,” Clijsters said after the match.
“I was just sitting there looking at my mom and my coach, saying, ‘You know, this is true.’ It’s an incredible feeling after the tough year last year, to have this now and so soon is very satisfying.”
After winning the Pacific Life Open, Clijsters is now ranked 38 in the world.
Pacific Life Open Results
Men’s Singles Championship
Roger Federer, Switzerland, def. Lleyton Hewitt, Australia, 6-2, 6-4, 6-4
Men’s Doubles Championship
Mark Knowles, Bahamas, and Daniel Nestor, Canada, def. Wayne Arthurs and Paul Hanley, Australia, 7-6 (6), 7-6 (2)
Women’s Singles Championship
Kim Clijsters, Belgium, def. Lindsay Davenport, United States, 6-4, 4-6, 6-2
Women’s Doubles Championship
Paola Suarez, Argentina, and Virginia Ruano Pasqual, Spain, def. Nadia Petrova, Russia, and Meghann Shaughnessy, United States, 7-6 (3), 6-1.