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“Mentally drained” Kim slips up on clay

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Originally published on: 09/04/10 10:14

Unlike her great rival and four-time French Open champ Justine Henin, Kim Clijsters has always required a little time to ease into the clay court season.

But in storming form after seven straight wins and her third hard court title since returning to the game last year, the last thing the Miami champ expected was a shock defeat to world No.258 Beatriz Garcia Vidagany.

The Spaniard, who hadn’t progressed beyond the first round of a WTA tournament this year before the Andalucia Tennis Experience in Marbella, stunned the Belgian with three breaks in the deciding set to claim a remarkable 7-5 4-6 6-4 win.

“I feel disappointed with the way I played,” said Clijsters after losing out to the 21-year-old in their second round clash. “I played a really bad match.”

Clijsters, who defeated three top 10 players – as well as world No.33 Justine Henin in a tight semi-final encounter – in Miami, lamented her tight schedule for the defeat.

“I felt mentally drained,” said the 37-time WTA Tour titlist.

“Maybe the change from Miami came too quickly, but I played a good player today. She didn’t make any mistakes.”

Encouraged to play in Marbella by tournament director and former player Conchita Martinez during her Sony Ericsson Open title run, the 26-year-old was disappointed to take an early exit after her first appearance on clay in three years.

“Marbella has been really great. It’s beautiful here and everyone working here was so nice. You really want to do well here – it’s a shame I lost today.”

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