This is a discussion on Keen Clijsters off and running in comeback American summer within the Entertainment forums, part of the Tour and Travels category; With her first American summer in two years off to a victorious start, Kim Clijsters is keen to follow up ...
With her first American summer in two years off to a victorious start, Kim Clijsters is keen to follow up on a weekend title victory as she plays as a sleeper seventh seed at the $1.3-million Acura Classic.
Though she stands down in the pecking order at an event hit by the defection of three Wimbledon champions - Serena Williams, Lindsay Davenport and Maria Sharapova - the 22-year-old former world number one is tipped as a title favourite this week.
Clijsters reversed a three-match loss streak against Venus Williams as she won the title at Stanford, playing after last year's absence due to a wrist injury.
She's now back in the Top 10 for the first time since October 24 after winning her fourth singles title of the season at Stanford.
Her first match will come after a bye as she faces Poland's Marta Domachowska, who beat American Laura Granville 3-6, 6-0, 7-6 (11-9).
Clijsters can't hide her renewed enthusiasm after her career was on the line this time a year ago after surgery.
"This has been a trip that I've been looking forward to since I finished playing in Miami," said the Belgian. "The clay season was a little disappointing for me.
"As soon as I finished at the French Open (fourth-round loss from a set up against Davenport), I got really motivated and decided to work harder again and to get myself ready.
"I played some good tennis on grass, but those whole two or three months, I was really looking forward to coming out here and to play on hard court again."
Clisters has a brilliant history in California, winning the Indian Wells event in the desert last March. Eight of her 25 career trophies have been lifted in the Golden State of California.
"There must be something in the water here because I have always enjoyed playing here," said the European, who maintains her base at home. "I've always had a great time, on the court as well as off/
"I just feel comfortable here. I feel good and there is nothing more you can wish for."
With the field dominated by Russians, a pair of seeds fell in the first round.
Russian teenager Anna Chakvetadze dropped France's number 12 Tatiana Golovin 6-4, 6-4, while 15-year-old Sesil Karatantcheva knocked out 13th seed Shinobu Asagoe 6-1, 0-6, 7-5.
Number 15 Flavia Pennetta saved face as she put out American Marissa Irvin 6-2, 6-2.