Determined Kim keeps focus - Pakistan Today

Determined Kim keeps focus

MELBOURNE – Third seed Kim Clijsters admitted it was difficult to keep her focus as former world number one Dinara Safina’s game fell apart during the first round of the Australian Open on Tuesday. Tournament favourite Clijsters destroyed Safina 6-0, 6-0 in just 44 minutes on the Rod Laver Arena, a loss that the Russian later called “embarrassing”.
“When you feel that your opponent is not playing their best tennis, you really just try not to focus on that too much,” Clijsters said. “You try not to lose focus. You try not to become a little bit more easy-going and just thinking, ‘Oh this is going to be easy’.
“You try to keep that same mentality as when you started.” The world number three, who has won two US Opens since returning to the tour in 2009 after giving birth to daughter Jada, said she had been thinking about the clash with Safina from the moment she saw the draw. “My mind has been on this match for a while already. I knew that if she plays her best, I have to almost play my best tennis to beat her,” she said. “I expect my opponent to come out and play their best tennis. She obviously didn’t do that today but my attitude was still to try and finish it off and not let her get back in the match, build some confidence, build some rhythm.”
Clijsters would be relieved to make amends for her own Australian Open humiliation when she was thrashed by Nadia Petrova 6-0, 6-1 in the third round in 2010. “I just tried to leave it behind me,” Clijsters said of her loss to Petrova. “I was probably at a different stage (from Safina) as well. She’s been struggling with her game for a while so it can have a little bigger impact on her than it had on me last year.” It was the fourth time Clijsters has whitewashed an opponent at the Australian Open, after “double bagels” in 2003, 2004 and 2007, but the first time against such illustrious opposition.



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