Era 2004, Clijsters tinha 21 anos e Hewitt 24. Os dois haviam acabado de anunciar o noivado (fim de 2003) – Hewitt fez o pedido em um romântico passeio de barco na baía de Sidney – e Kim chegava à final do Grand Slam australiano. Era a quarta decisão da sua carreira, com derrota nas outras três anteriores.
Mas, a vitória ficou com a compatriota Justine Henin, que nesta semana anunciou a aposentadoria das quadras.
A história todo mundo conhece. Clijsters e Hewitt terminaram o noivado no fim de 2004, poucos meses antes do casamento marcado para fevereiro de 2005.
Naquele mesmo 2005, Hewitt se casou com a atriz Bec Cartwright e Clijsters conquistou o seu primeiro Grand Slam, o US Open. Dois anos depois anunciaria a sua aposentadoria, para se tornar mãe de Jada e se casar, na Bélgica com o jogador de basquete Brian Lynch.
Dois anos se passaram e a tenista belga resolveu voltar a competir.
E desde meados de 2009 não para de ganhar.
Fez uma rápida passagem pela Austrália, no ano passado, sendo eliminada na terceira rodada por Nadia Petrova, fazendo apenas um game, no que descreveu como uma das piores derrotas da carreira.
De lá para cá, ganhou dois US Opens, o Masters de Doha e agora o seu primeiro Australian Open.
Mesmo em todo este período longe das quadras e de Lleyton Hewitt, a belga nunca deixou de ser querida pelos australianos. Muitos ficaram constrangidos, logo depois da separação, de chamá-la de “Aussie ,” como a chamavam quando estava por lá com Hewitt.
Mas, há algumas rodadas, acho que sentindo que a probabilidade de um título estava perto e sem australianos para torcer, o público e a mídia, voltaram a chamá-la de “Aussie Kim.”
Com a vitória sobre Li Na na final, de virada, por 3/6 6/3 6/3, Clijsters, na cerimônia de premiação, seis anos depois de quase ter se tornado australiana e acrescentado Hewitt ao seu sobrenome, finalmente se sentiu uma “Aussie Kim,” com o troféu do Australian Open em mãos, o quarto Grand Slam da carreira.
Além do fato de ter este laço estreito com a Austrália, desde a época de adolescência quando começou a namorar Hewitt, Clijsters ainda homenageou Evonne Goolagong, a australiana campeã de Grand Slam que assim como Clijsters, foi vencedora de Grand Slam ainda mãe, usando um uniforme verde do estilo que ela usava anos atrás.
Muitas perguntas foram feitas a uma sorridente e vibrante Clijsters logo após o jogo, na coletiva de imprensa da campeã.
Reproduzo aqui os trechos mais interessantes sobre Jogos Olímpicos de Londres, Aussie Kim, Evonne Goolagong, Jada, o Dentista, a emoção desta final, etc..
K Clijsters – 29 01 11 1
An interview with:
Q. Will you be back to defend the title
KIM CLIJSTERS: Yeah, I hope
Q. A tear in your eye at the end of the
match. How emotional was your fourth
Grand Slam win?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Yeah, they’re
all emotional. Obviously, you know, I think what
overwhelms me is that it’s so intense up until,
you know, that last shot, and then all of a sudden
it’s finished. Then it’s just like a big relief.
Yeah, you know, the disbelief
maybe a little bit too it’s over and that I was able
to turn it around is what makes it all so special.
Q. How did you turn it around?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Yeah, I mean,
she did everything better than me in that first set.
I mean, obviously her groundstrokes were
heavier, deeper. She served better. She
So I think, you know, she was
playing really, really well – probably the best that
I’ve ever played against her, or that she played
I tried to just, you know, think
after that first set, you know, like, What can I do
differently so I can maybe break her rhythm a
little bit, try to make her think out there a little bit
more? So I tried to mix it up a little bit, put some
slices in, also hit a few higher shots that, you
know, kind of just made her make some unforced
Yeah, I saw her get a little bit
aggravated, and just tried to hang in there.
Q. We rarely see you so pumped up
or emotional during a match. Does this one
mean more than some of the others?
KIM CLIJSTERS: No, I wouldn’t
say more, but obviously I think ’cause it was such
an intense match. I don’t think I had that in one
of the Grand Slams where I’ve won. Obviously,
I’ve played intense matches. Probably my first
Grand Slam final at the French was a very
But to win it in this way means it
a lot. I think it’s that moment that overwhelms
you, where your mind has been so focused, I’m
fighting every shot, running a lot of balls down,
and it’s finished. That’s what makes it just nice,
and I guess this big relief that kind of just, yeah,
overwhelms you a little bit.
Q. This year I read that this could be
your last full-time year. Then I read that you
want to come back and play the Olympic
Games very much next year. Then that you
may become a mother for the second time in
2013 and come back in 2015.
KIM CLIJSTERS: That I never
I do think this is probably my last
full season that I’ll be playing. I also would like to
try and keep going until the Olympics. I’ve never
played the Olympics, which is in a year and a
half time, or a little under a year and a half.
Yeah, so and then we’ll see after that.
But, uhm, when I started, started
again, I kind of had the Olympics in my mind. I
wanted to try to keep going till then. I obviously
never expected things to be going so well so
quickly. I thought it was going to take a little bit
more time to get back into the rhythm or get back
into my routine of traveling with a family and
But, no, I mean, the first two
were probably right that you read, and the next
two of having a baby is probably right, too. But
then coming back, that one’s not right (laughter).
Q. How do you explain these Grand
Slam wins to your daughter? Does she
understand what you’ve done tonight?
KIM CLIJSTERS: No, no, which
is fine obviously. I mean, to her it really doesn’t
matter. I mean, she’s always excited. Although
when she saw the trophy, she was like, Who is
that trophy for? And then she’s like, Did you win
that? I’m like, Yeah.
I mean, to her, she knows I play
tennis, but that’s it. She doesn’t know everything
else that comes with it, winning, losing. You
know, obviously, I mean, she’s seen me like a
little bit disappointed and stuff.
She asks, Why are you
disappointed? I explain to her that I lost. But, I
mean, it’s not a big deal for her.
Q. Li Na said she felt like she was
playing in Belgium tonight.
KIM CLIJSTERS: Really?
Q. Because of the support for you.
Did you feel that?
KIM CLIJSTERS: No. I mean,
there was a lot of support, but I think it was nicely
divided. I think there was obviously a lot of
Chinese or Asian people out there that wanted to
live this moment with her. And I felt that support,
But it was nice. I think it was
nice to see that culture in this sport, because
obviously over the years, I mean, it’s been
America, it’s been Europe, it’s all been very kind
of divided between those two continents.
It’s nice to kind of see that Asia
is, yeah, starting to – and especially China – is
starting to get recognized in this sport, too.
Q. Before your comeback you didn’t
go into the Grand Slams as the out-and-out
favorite. The last two you have and you’ve
won. Can you talk about contending with that
KIM CLIJSTERS: Yeah, I mean,
I’ve always — not always. Obviously, the last few
years that I was playing, when I was No. 1 or top
3, I’ve always been kind of one of the players
that could win it.
When I was younger, it kind of
overwhelmed me a little bit. The pressure or the
nerves that I put upon myself got sometimes in
the way of what I was trying to do out there and
what I had to focus on.
I think now that I’m a little bit
older, I mean, with all due respect, a lot of things
that are being said in here or that, you know, the
pressure leaves as soon as I leave through that
door. I think I was able to do that throughout this
I mean, I know how hard it is to
stay fit throughout two weeks, to try and be
focused, and to try to not have a bad day like I
had last year here. You have to just try to stay
really focused. There’s a lot of other players who
will try and achieve the same thing.
I was able to do that really well,
try to just focus on what I have to do out there,
try to focus on trying to be the best Kim out there
and not worry about the impact or the favorite
role. I mean, that’s not going to make me play
better or play worse. I just have to try and focus
Q. What happened to your teeth at
KIM CLIJSTERS: To my tooth?
Yeah, it chipped off. That’s what happened. I
was eating a rice cracker, actually, nothing hard.
Just a nice, soft rice cracker. I thought there was
like a piece of rice that that wasn’t cooked well or
something, and I just spat it out. I felt my tooth
not being there completely, so I was like, Oh,
Yes, went to the dentist very
Q. Are you going to name the
KIM CLIJSTERS: I actually don’t
remember his name. He was somewhere near
Q. How big of a goal is it to win
Roland Garros and Wimbledon? Are you
playing for different things other than just
major titles? Just for the love of competing,
or would you really like to get those two other
KIM CLIJSTERS: Look, of
course. I mean, I’m not going to sit here and be
like, No, that wouldn’t be nice. But to be honest,
I really haven’t thought about it. It’s a little early I
think to already think ahead, focus on those kind
I’ve been really focused on this
last month, you know, two months, to try and be
ready for the Australian summer. And now I kind
of just need a break from that whole, like, goals
and preparing and all that.
But, no, obviously the French is
a Grand Slam where, you know, I would like to
do well, as well. All of them, of course. But,
uhm, again, yeah, I’m just excited that I won this
one. Like I said, not really thinking in those kind
of ways yet.
That will probably happen after
Fed Cup when I’m done and home for a few
weeks. I’m playing Paris. Once after that, I’ll
probably have time to sit together with the team
and kind of just relook at the whole kind of
schedule for later this year.
Q. What does it mean to finally win a
Grand Slam outside New York?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Uhm, it’s nice.
Obviously, I mean, you know, if I could win
another US Open it would also be nice.
But, no, I do enjoy this win,
especially here in Australia, as well. It’s been a
country where I’ve always loved coming to and
where I’ve always been very well-received.
Yeah, I’ve been close to doing
well, you know, a few years in a row, so it’s nice
to finally get it this year.
Q. You had a great speech after the
win. It was funny and well-said. I’d like to
know if you had to think much before when
KIM CLIJSTERS: No, it just
Q. The Aussie Kim was just like that?
KIM CLIJSTERS: Yeah, yeah.
Actually, I forgot to thank my doctor. I feel really
bad about that. ‘Cause, yeah, I mean, he’s
helped me out a lot. I’ve had a lot of problem
with my feet and blisters, so I kind of regret that.
So I was like, I wish I could do it over and just
But, no, everything, there’s
nothing prepared at all. I just, yeah.
Q. Will you be wearing green for the
rest of the year in the Grand Slams?
KIM CLIJSTERS: No, no.
There’s some more, some new and different
outfits coming, but that will bring a lot of people’s
memories back to some ex-Fila players.