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Monday, May 7, 2007
Clijsters calls it quits ... finally!


It was a great weekend it was for the warrior athletes. Pete Sampras played an authentic, prize-money tournament for the first time since he won the U.S. Open of 2002 (thereby establishing a new Grand Slam singles title record of 14), and he looked a lot like the Pistol Pete of yore. Roger Clemens, at age 44, decided to give it another go, the Yankee re-incarnate.

And then there was the buzz kill: 23-year-old One-Slam Wonder Kim Clijsters called it quits. And not a moment too soon, if you ask me. Clijsters announcement -- delivered to her legions of Kool-Aid slurping fans via her Web site -- is reason for rejoicing. Let the news ring out across the land, we are free of Kimmy at last!

Just think: no more having to watch Kimmy gag away big matches, or Get Small on occasions when a quality player is supposed to Go Big. No more of that anodyne, one-speed baseline game (she should have been sponsored by John Deere; watching her play was about as jump-to-your feet exciting as a tractor pull). No more Kimmy, bashing tennis and moaning about how tough it is to be a lavishly compensated, globe-trotting pro tennis star. And last but not least, no more of her endless prattle about that danged wedding.

Note No. 1 to Kimmy: Women like Evonne Goolagong Cawley and Chris Evert wanted to have children (and did) and experience "regular" life every bit as much as you do. They had the grace, tact and humility to take care of their tennis business and then move on, although Cawley liked the game so much she came back and won Wimbledon as a mom.

Here's what I don't get. Everyone talks about how "nice" this girl is, but who cares about nice in a chronic underachiever and whiner? Her recent pronouncements have alternated between childish and haughty, with a soupcon of bitter thrown in. Excerpt, from her online diary: "Time to marry. Time for children? Time for cooking and playing with my dogs. And particularly a lot of time with my friends and family … No more travelling. No more stepping in and out of planes. No more having to read gossip or lies in the papers."

Note No. 2 to Kimmy: See the bit about Cawley in Note No. 1. Also, your parents were all over the tour for a while there, and Ivan Lendl raised and bred German shepherds while he was happily getting to eight U.S. Open finals -- in a row. And speaking of family and gossip, wasn't it your own father, legendary Belgian soccer star Leo Clijsters, who rocked the tennis world by suggesting to Belgian reporters that Justine Henin was juiced out of her gourd that year she hammered you for the U.S. Open title?

The really weird thing is, I always thought it was supposed to be fun getting married. Bye, Kimmy, don't let the door hit you on the way out.