Kim Clijsters Chokes On Two Match Points, Bounced From French Open

Kim Clijsters

[credit provider=”Caroline Shin”]

PARIS (AP) — Kim Clijsters wasted two match points and was eliminated from the French Open on Thursday, losing to Arantxa Rus of the Netherlands 3-6, 7-5, 6-1 in the second round.Clijsters, who had won her last 15 Grand Slam matches after taking the titles at last year’s U.S. Open and this year’s Australian Open, failed to convert either match point in the second set.

The two-time French Open runner-up, who was playing with her right ankle taped, made 65 unforced errors in the match and lost 11 of the final 12 games. The 114th-ranked Rus finished with only 22 unforced errors and had only eight winners in the entire match.

Also Thursday, five-time champion Rafael Nadal is scheduled to be back on court — two days after being stretched to five sets for the first time in his French Open career. Maria Sharapova is also set to play.

Clijsters had her first chance to close out the match when leading 5-2 in the second set, but Rus saved match point and held to make it 5-3 before breaking Clijsters to get back on serve.

Clijsters then had another match point in the 10th game, but Rus saved it again and eventually pushed the score to 5-5.

With the momentum shifting, Clijsters double-faulted for the seventh time — one of her 28 unforced errors in the set — to allow Rus to break and serve out the second set.

Clijsters injured her right ankle while dancing at her cousin’s wedding in April, sidelining her until the French Open. She last played at Roland Garros in 2006, when she reached the semifinals.

But since returning to the tour in 2009 following the birth of her daughter, Clijsters had won three of her four Grand Slam titles.

Rus, the 2008 Australian Open junior champion, reached the third round of a Grand Slam tournament for the first time.

No. 9 Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic, No. 12 Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland and No. 21 Yanina Wickmayer of Belgium also advanced to the third round Thursday, while No. 27 Alexandra Dulgheru of Romania lost.

Kvitova defeated two-time Grand Slam semifinalist Zheng Jie of China 6-4, 6-1.

Robin Soderling, the runner-up at the last two French Opens, made it through to the third round. The fifth-seeded Swede beat Spanish qualifier Albert Ramos 6-3, 6-4, 6-4.

Also, No. 24 Sam Querrey of the United States lost to Ivan Ljubicic of Croatia 7-6 (2), 6-4, 6-4.