Kim Clijsters Invitational
|Website||Kim Clijsters Invitational|
After the demise of the Proximus Diamond Games as a professional tennis tournament, the organisers reinvented the tournament into an exhibition event in 2009, complete with a new title sponsor Thomas Cook. It remained the Diamond Games until 2013 with different sponsors when the event was reinvented as the Kim Clijsters Inviational. It remains an exhibition event.
The Thomas Cook Diamond Games 2009 took place on December 9. The event featured just two matches, both involving Belgians, and drew an audience of 14,000. The first match was Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium taking on Patty Schnyder of Switzerland. Schnyder won in straight sets. Following a music interval by Belgian band Milk Inc, the main event of the evening saw former Diamond Games winners, seven-time grand slam champion Venus Williams take on the recently crowned US Open champion and hometown comeback queen Kim Clijsters. Clijsters won the battle keeping the fans happy with a straight sets victory.
The 2010 event was sponsored by GDF Suez and took place on December 9. It featured two matches; the first featured Yanina Wickmayer and Roland Garros champion, Francesca Schiavone. Wickmayer defeated the Italian in straight sets. Following a musical interlude by Natalia, Kim Clijsters and Justine Henin took the court for Henin's first match since the two played at Wimbledon. Henin injured her elbow during the opening set of her three-set loss. Henin subsequently missed the rest of the season, including the Best of Belgium match with Clijsters. After sharing the first two sets, Clijsters triumphed in a match tiebreak, 10-5.
The 2011 Diamind Games took place on December 8 and was sponsored by BNP Paribas Fortis. In the first of two encounters, home favourite Kim Clijsters overcame Caroline Wozniacki in straight sets in singles competition. Before the second match took place, there was a musical interlude by DJ Regi Penxten. The last match of the night was a doubles match, which saw Kim and her younger sibling Elke Clijsters triumph over Wozniacki and the sisters' fellow Belgian Yanina Wickmayer in straight sets.
With Kim Clijsters' immediate retirement after the 2012 US Open, the 2012 event became the Kim's Thank You Games as a ceremonial farewell to the four-time grand slam champion. It took place on December 12, opening with a musical performance from DJ Regi Penxten. It was followed by two matches, the first of which was a repeat of 2009, as Clijsters faced Venus Williams in singles, winning in straight sets. Following an hours tribute-show to Clijsters, Venus Williams and Kirsten Flipkens defeated Clijsters and Amelie Mauresmo in doubles competition in a single rubber.
In 2013, the Diamond Games were reinvented as the Kim Clijsters Invitational, still a demonstration event that will invite current and former tennis stars, chosen by Clijsters herself from now onwards. The inaugural event took place on December 11. In the opening match, Kirsten Flipkens defeated Serbia's Ana Ivanovic in three sets, winning a tie-break in the third. Following a musical interlude from Ozark Henry, the second and final match saw Clijsters and her recently retired compatriot Xavier Malisse defeat Kirsten Flipkens and Frenchman Henri Leconte in straight sets in mixed doubles.
|2009||Singles||Patty Schnyder||6-3, 6-4||Kirsten Flipkens|
|Singles||Kim Clijsters||6-1, 7-5||Venus Williams|
|2010||Singles||Yanina Wickmayer||7-5, 6-4||Francesca Schiavone|
|Singles||Kim Clijsters||6-1, 3-6, [10-5]||Justine Henin|
|2011||Singles||Kim Clijsters||6-2, 7-6||Caroline Wozniacki|
|6-2, 6-1||Caroline Wozniacki
|2012||Singles||Kim Clijsters||6-3, 6-3||Venus Williams|
|2013||Singles||Kirsten Flipkens||3-6, 6-3, [10-7]||Ana Ivanovic|
|7-5, 6-2||Kirsten Flipkens
- Thomas Cook Diamond Games 2009 Diamond Games. Retrieved 12-06-2014
- GDF Suez Diamond Games 2010 Diamond Games. Retrieved 12-06-2014.
- BNP Paribas Fortis Diamond Games 2011 Diamond Games. Retrieved 12-06-2014.
- Diamond games named Kim's Thank You Games for once Kim Clijsters official website. 27-08-2012. Retrieved 12-06-2014.
- Kim's Thank You Games - Diamond Games Antwerp Sports Palace. Retrieved 12-06-2014.
- Clijsters wins her latest single match Diamond Games. Retrieved 18-06-2014.
- Next year, Kim Clijsters Invitational SPORT. 12.11.2012. Retrieved 12-06-2014.
- Flipkens better than Ivanovic Kim Clijsters Inviational. 11-12-2013. Retrieved 12-06-2014.
- Mini concert by Ozark Henry Kim Clijsters Invitational Kim Clijsters Invitational. 29-11-2013. Retrieved 12-06-2014.
- A laugh (burst) and a tear Kim Clijsters Invitational. 11-12-2013. Retrieved 12-06-2014.
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