NEW YORK – Kim Clijsters cradled the baby in one hand, the trophy in the other.
The joy of motherhood. The joy of winning the U.S. Open.
Clijsters made history Sunday night, capping a comeback from two years out of tennis to become the first unseeded woman to win the Open – and the first mom to win a major since 1980 – with a 7-5, 6-3 victory over No. 9 Caroline Wozniacki.
When it was over, Clijsters collapsed to the ground and started crying – tears of joy, probably mixed in with a little bit of shock, too. Her 18-month-old daughter, Jada, watched from a suite with a pacifier in her mouth, but later came down to the court to take part in the celebration.
Guess what mommy got for you, sweetie! A Grand Slam title.
“It was not really our plan,” Clijsters said. “I just wanted to start these three tournaments and get back into the rhythm of playing tennis and get used to the surroundings again.”
Federer up to old tricks
Roger Federer punctuated his latest U.S. Open victory with a shot he called, quite simply, the greatest of his life: a between-the-legs, back-to-the-net, cross-court winner from the baseline.
A point later, with the crowd in hysterics and opponent Novak Djokovic still in shock, the world’s top-ranked player closed out the victory, 7-6 (3), 7-5, 7-5.
Federer is one win from his sixth consecutive U.S. Open championship in men’s singles. He will be playing in his 21st Grand Slam final.
Del Potro upsets Nadal
Juan Martin del Potro has advanced to his first Grand Slam final with a 6-2, 6-2, 6-2 victory over Rafael Nadal in the U.S. Open semifinals.
The sixth-seeded del Potro will play Federer for the men’s title today.
Del Potro took control of the match early and never let the third-seeded Nadal get back in it, saving five break points over the first two sets with serves of up to 134 mph.
Nadal, battling a hurting abdominal muscle throughout the tournament, hunched over in pain after a double fault in the first set.
Del Potro is the second Argentine to make a U.S. Open final, joining Guillermo Vilas, who won in 1977.
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