The delayed Indian Wells Masters tournament may lack some of the heavy hitters of tennis but it won’t stop us enjoying it nonetheless. Seasoned campaigner Kim Clijsters was looking to shed off the court rust against Czech Katerina Siniakova. I was looking closely on how well Kim fared in the longer rallies seeing that she hasn’t had a lot of first class matches in the past year. She didn’t do well in that regard in the first set for most of the time at least. There were glimpses of the old Kim. Watch 2-0 15-0 when she was already down a break. Finding the corners was always her specialty the forehands beautifully crafting the point. Katerina 13 years her junior was quicker and looked the more likelier to take the riskier shot. She is a great doubles player and that background comes in handy at the net.
Check out second set 0-15 first game. Katerina’s movement at the net offers a lesson. One, always have the racquet in front of you not on the side when you run after the ball. Two, the footwork. The serving was good from both players but not GREAT. Katerina edging it with 63% on first serve to Kim’s 62%. The double faults were too high from both 9 for Kim and 8 for Katerina. Why I am so hard on players regarding DFs? They have a tendency to undermine confidence and once they become a habit in a match it is hard to stop. The back and forth nature of the final scoreboard reflects that Kim was better in the second set by winners count. Check out the passing shot at 2-0 adv.
Third set was almost like a mirror of the second in terms of the scoreboard with Kim on the receiving end of some wonderful winners. However if I am to be critical of the Czech, she failed to put away rallies quickly. Illustration watch first game of the third set at 15 all. Twice she gave Kim a chance at a return when she was favorite to put the rally to rest. Against a higher ranked player she could well have been punished. Problem for Clijsters in this set was that although she was getting the racquet to the really difficult Siniakova shots during rallies, they were only defensive shots not enough to trouble the Czech(2-1(30-15)). Despite the defeats coming for Kim it is good to see that her love for the game hasn’t diminished. Recommend playing more doubles to get more match sharp.