Clijsters' U.S. Open streak on hold again
August, 19, 2011
By Kenton Wong | ESPN.com
In her most recent match -- against China's Zheng Ji at the Rogers Cup in Toronto earlier this month -- Clijsters won the first set, but was forced to retire with an abdominal injury.
Due to a combination of injuries and retirement, the current world No. 3 hasn't played at all four Grand Slams in a calendar year since 2003. After winning just one Grand Slam prior to retiring in 2007 to start a family, the Belgian star has won three majors since returning in 2009 -- all on hard courts.
In her career, Clijsters has won the U.S. Open three times, tied for fourth-most in the Open Era. The only players to win more at Flushing Meadows in the Open Era are Chris Evert, Steffi Graf and Martina Navratilova.
Since 2003, Clijsters is the fourth reigning U.S. Open women's champion to not come back to defend her title. Serena Williams didn't play in 2003 following left knee surgery, Clijsters didn't play in 2006 following wrist surgery and Justine Henin retired several months after winning the 2007 U.S. Open (she too would make a comeback).
Clijsters’ three U.S. Open wins have come in her last three appearances at the event (2005, 2009, 2010). Her active streak of 21 straight match wins at the U.S. Open is the second longest in Open Era history behind only Chris Evert's 31 straight in the mid to late 1970s.
Unfortunately for Clisters, her streak will have to wait at least another year to get extended.