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Page last updated at 11:59 GMT, Monday, 14 September 2009 12:59 UK

Lay-off aided US run - Clijsters

Kim Clijsters with daughter Jada

Shock US Open champion Kim Clijsters said she learned lessons during her two-and-a-half year retirement that helped her deal with her emotions.

The 26-year-old married husband Brian Lynch and had 18-month-old daughter Jada during her time out.

"I think you get to know how to deal with different emotions when they come up," she said.

The Belgian won her second career Grand Slam after beating Caroline Wozniacki 7-5 6-3 in Sunday's final.

"I'm more capable of adjusting on the court," added Clijsters.


"I think that's something that's very important out there, especially in big matches like today and like yesterday."

Clijsters played just seven competitive matches before the start of the Flushing Meadows event, losing to Dinara Safina in the quarter-finals of Cincinnati Masters and Jelena Jankovic in the third round of the Rogers Cup in Toronto.

She revealed that her comeback was prompted by the experience of playing an exhibition match to unveil the new Centre Court roof at Wimbledon in May.

She teamed up with Tim Henman to beat Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf 7-6 (7-5) in a set of mixed doubles, before beating Graf 6-4 in singles.

"I didn't get into the whole training routine until at the start of this year when I got the invitation to Wimbledon again," she said.

"I had a good feeling a few weeks into my practice sessions. I started hitting the ball really well and hitting the ball really clean.

"But it was just the movement and reading the game and everything that was missing.

"This is really kind of starting from zero and re-teaching my body again and knowing how to work in tennis conditions."

She admitted that her victory, which came after a run that eliminated both Venus and Serena Williams, was a surprise to herself as much as the New York crowd.

"It still seems so surreal that in my third tournament back I won my second Grand Slam," she said.

"This is something that in my wildest dreams I could never imagine happening."

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see also
Clijsters seals dream US Open win
14 Sep 09 |  Tennis
US Open photos - day 14
13 Sep 09 |  Tennis
US Open day 14 as it happened
13 Sep 09 |  Tennis
Williams apologises after tirade
14 Sep 09 |  Tennis
Clijsters wins as Serena erupts
13 Sep 09 |  Tennis

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