Monday, September 12, 2016

Kim Clijster's to be inducted into the Tennis Hall of Fame next year

On Thursday evening, Angelique Kerber and Karolina Pliskova produced some of the finest tennis of their respective careers to move within touching distance of US Open glory.

Around the same time they were adding the finishing touches to impressive victories over Flushing Meadows favorites Caroline Wozniacki and Serena Williams, one of the tournament's most popular champions received her nomination to join the International Tennis Hall of Fame.

At the dawn of the millennium Kim Clijsters battled it out with Amélie Mauresmo, Martina Hingis,Lindsay Davenport, Jennifer Capriati, Justine Henin and the Williams sisters for domination of a golden era in women's tennis.

After years of playing the role of bridesmaid, on September 10, 2005, Clijsters finally enjoyed her own big day, defeating Mary Pierce in the US Open final to lift her maiden Grand Slam title.

Despite being just 22 at the time, this victory had been a long time coming; Clijsters, and her entertaining brand of athletic, all-court tennis had been entertaining crowds since she slid onto the scene as bubbly teenager in the late 1990s.

The Belgian's big breakthrough came a few years later, in 2001, where she reached the final in both Indian Wells and the French Open. Unfortunately for Clijsters, both occasions ended in runner-up speeches, a scenario that would become all too familiar over the coming years as she lost out in four further major finals.

Once she had rid this monkey from her back in 2005, though, there was no looking back. Clijsters won three further Slams - all of which came after the birth of her first child - and a whole host of other silverware to prove once and for all that nice girls can indeed finish first.

"I'm very honored to be on the ballot for International Tennis Hall of Fame induction," Clijsters said. "The women who have been inducted into the Hall of Fame are great champions who I have always admired. It's an honor to be considered to be part of that incredible group of athletes, and I'm grateful for this acknowledgement of my career."

Tennis journalists and authors will cast their votes in the ballot over the coming months, culminating with an announcement early next year of the International Tennis Hall of Fame Class of 2017. The Class of 2017 Enshrinement Ceremony will be hosted on Saturday, July 22, 2017 during the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, Rhode Island.

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