September 14, 2009
How wonderful it was to see this year’s U.S. Open trophy being shared with a one-year-old. No offense to the Williams’ sisters, but I welcomed the change of pace with open arms and have a refreshed outlook on life after motherhood.
Unseeded Belgian tennis star Kim Clijsters, 26, won the women’s singles title Sunday night becoming the first mother to win a Grand Slam since 1980 when Evonne Goolagong Cawley won Wimbledon. After defeating ninth seed Caroline Wozniacki in the finals, Clijsters shared the spotlight with 1-year-old daughter, Jada, who toddled out on the court to pose for pictures with her mom.
Clijsters admitted that it wasn’t just luck that her daughter was awake to celebrate the big win: "We tried to plan her nap time a little bit later today," Clijsters said. "So she could be here today."
This is Clijsters’ second U.S. Open victory, but her first as a mom. In 2007, she retired from tennis ranked numero uno, got hitched, and (temporarily) switched out her rackets for rattles when she popped out a baby girl. But earlier this year, she was invited to play an exhibition game at Wimbledon’s Centre Court, and had such a blast that she decided to come out of retirement. She went into the U.S. Open not expected to be a threat, but when she rocked her first few matches and knocked out Venus Williams in the fourth round, people started to pay attention.
The semifinals found Clijsters across the net from defending champ Serena Williams, and in one of the most memorable matches of the tournament, Williams lost to Clijsters after receiving a point penalty for verbally abusing a line judge over a foot-fault call. Come on, Serena. We know your mother taught you better than that…
The tournament ended Sunday with the U.S. Open fining the youngest Williams sister $10,500 for unsportsmanlike conduct, and naming Clijsters the champion when she wiped the court with Wozniacki.
Ah, Kim. Thank you for showing us we can raise a baby and return Serena’s backhand at the same time. Just another reminder that we can indeed do it all.