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Vreme čitanja: oko 3 min.

Kim Clijsters for Telegraf: "I love him, he's a favorite wherever he goes, here's what makes Novak Novak"

Vreme čitanja: oko 3 min.

The Belgian will be remembered as one of the more dominant players in women's tennis

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Kim Klajsters Kim Clijsters Intervju

Photo: Profimedia/Zuma Press/Rob Prange

To those who remember the renaissance years of women's tennis at the beginning of the century, the first player that comes to mind is the famous and multiple Grand Slam winner, the great Kim Clijsters. She won the US Open three times, the Australian Open once, and although she played two finals at the French Open, failed to lift the trophy here, in Paris.

Now, in a conversation with Telegraf, she shared her opinion about who that could be this year in the women's competition, and one name stood out like no other.

"Iga Swiatek without question is pushing the best, Jabeur and Gauff are waking up, but Swiatek is having incredible matches and I think she will be the one to lift the trophy. It's incredible how much she is able to absorb knowledge from former champions, from male tennis players. She is really ready to learn from all aspects, that's what I like most about her," Clijsters said.

Everyonein Paris is talking about Carlos Alcaraz?

"It's incredible how people have seen Alcaraz in that semifinal before, even though he had Tsitsipas in front of him. It was the toughest test for him, and we saw how he passed it."

How come they forget about Novak Djokovic?

"Novak is a favorite wherever he goes. I love Novak and I've watched his matches, it's really great to watch him somehow manage to raise the level of his game one step higher in each new set or match. He may not have played his best tennis in the first week, but he played well enough to win. That's why Novak is actually Novak, that's why he's great. Even though he's not playing at his highest level, even though he's sometimes nervous about his performance, even though he's not happy with his movement or hitting, he finds a way to win. At that age to be at that level is super cool to see."

Could you remind us of some matches against Ana Ivanovic and Jelena Jankovic?

"Of course! Those were great times! I haven't seen Ana in a long time, but I had the opportunity to see Jelena last year in Luxembourg. It's really nostalgic when I see players with whom I played so many important matches in my life. Happiness overwhelms me. Now we talk about families, about children, about many other things that occupied us after our playing careers. If there was a chance to play tennis, that would be great, but I remember the happy times, those were the matches that I will never forget."

Jelena was your big competitor?

"I especially remember that one match after I gave birth and had a daughter, right after that I played against Jelena, I think it was in Canada. I lost in one tough fight in three sets, but that match motivated me tremendously to return to the big stage with a big 'explosion' at the US Open."

Could a "big three" emerge in women's tennis as well?

"I don't know, I don't have a magic ball! (laughs) It could be Iga, Elena and Arina, that is. Tennis is very difficult to stay long on the main stage as Novak, Rafa and Roger have done. You need to dedicate your whole life to it, Iga may have that. I talked to her, it doesn't surprise me that she is where she is. Everyone wants to work to maintain focus towards that goal," concludes Clijsters.


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