Kim Clijsters and her coach credit her most recent title to having attained a higher level of maturity not seen in her previous matches. It was clear that Clijsters was in a bit of a funk in the Aussie final, where she was outhit in the first set and just three games away from losing the title to Li Na. She finally decided to flex her muscles, looping high balls in the second set and offering a stronger forehand, allowing her more breathing space on the third set, a strategy that helped her win the match after two hours and five minutes.

“I think what overwhelms me is that it’s so intense up until that last shot, and then all of a sudden it’s finished. Then it’s just like a big relief,” Clijsters said after the match.

Prior to her return, the 27-year old enjoyed retirement, but after deciding to come back, fans saw a more fit, more mature player. Clijsters, who won the US Open three times, plans on competing at least through the 2010 London Olympics before setting down her next definite move. With her win Clijsters stands as the best player on the tour, in the absence of Serena Williams who is set to return in March or April.

Maree cartujano
Sports Pundit staff writer
Sports writer and editor....

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