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Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Updated: August 19, 10:07 AM ET
Encore performance for Kim Clijsters?


Editor's note: Beginning Aug. 16, Ravi Ubha unveils the top 10 U.S. Open questions. Check back each weekday until Aug. 27 as we count down to No. 1.

7. Will Kim Clijsters repeat in Flushing?

Despite being straight-sets affairs, the past two U.S. Open women's finals have been pretty entertaining -- postmatch included.

Jelena Jankovic giggled repeatedly when seeing herself on the big screen against Serena Williams in 2008 and stole the show in the awards ceremony, engaging in a tug of war for the microphone with emcee Mary Carillo in an Oscar-worthy performance.

Last year, Kim Clijsters' young daughter, Jada, gleefully pranced around the court at Arthur Ashe Stadium as Mommy, a wild card, posed for photos with the trophy. The audience smiled. Oh, the uncomplicated joys of childhood.

What are the odds of Jada making an encore appearance?

Following an inconsistent season, Clijsters could be termed the favorite for the upcoming edition, especially with a question mark surrounding the health of Serena Williams and Samantha Stosur, the absence of Justine Henin and the general decline of the major Russian threats, Maria Sharapova excluded.

Clijsters, 27, has made it perfectly clear she wants to have another child with hubby Brian Lynch. They're holding off -- for the moment. When Jada hits school age in Belgium in roughly three years, Clijsters plans on staying home, she said recently. Bye bye tennis, again. A second retirement might come sooner than that. So the window to pile up majors is closing.

Her comeback against Sharapova in Sunday's final of the Western & Southern Financial Group Women's Open was telling. Clijsters needed a boost after disappointing at Wimbledon, where she crumbled against Vera Zvonareva in the quarterfinals after winning the first set.

Clijsters' victory over Bethanie Mattek-Sands in Montreal on Wednesday extended her U.S. Open Series winning streak to 13 matches. She's won 14 consecutive matches at the U.S. Open and 19 of her past 20 on U.S. hard courts. Besides a game suited for hard courts, Clijsters enjoys rapturous support from American fans, and the feeling of home, important to the Belgian, is boosted by having a place in New Jersey. The combination might be enough to overcome the pressure; Clijsters had none of it 12 months ago.

Clijsters suffered at January's Australian Open, routed by Nadia Petrova in a mere 51 minutes.

The signs point to Clijsters ending the Grand Slam campaign in much better fashion.