WTAhotties Awards 2009 - Most inspiring performance: ex aequo Jelena Dokic & Kim Clijsters

For this award, voters have been divided between the amazing run of Jelena Dokic in the Australian Open and Kim Clijsters' comeback and US Open title. I think both performances were really inspiring and deserved to win, so I decided to have this Award ex aequo

After 3 consecutive Top-20 finishes in 2001, 2002 and 2003, the career of Jelena Dokic became a series of misfortunes, including nationality changes, arguements with her controversial father, coach changes, injuries and failed combeack attempts. No one really expected a lot from her when she got a wild-card to play in the Australian Open. Despite not winning a Grand Slam match since 2003, with the crowd support and huge attention from the media, Dokic got emotive 3-set victories over Paszek, Chakvetadze, Wozniacki and Kleybanova to reach the quarter-finals. There her fairytale story came to an end, although she put a good fight on 4th seed Dinara Safina.

After two years out of the Tour for creating a family and becoming a mother, Kim Clijsters decided to comeback to the Tour this summer. In a time when most of the top players were not playing at their best, these were really great news. Early she showed that she had trained hard and she was ready to compete at the highest level. And in the US Open, as most of the top players were suffering early defeats, Clijsters, enjoying her matches and playing with no pressure, progressed to the final and captured a 2nd Grand Slam title that she really deserved. The image of a joyful Clijsters celebrating the title with her daughter Jada will be one of the happiest memories of 2009 for tennis fans.

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