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Kim queen of the Antwerp Sportpaleis
A sold out Antwerp Sportpaleis saw how a powerful Kim Clijsters beat Venus Williams at the Thomas Cook Diamond Games. "No US Open final can beat this", a delighted Kim described the unique atmosphere.
Kim Clijsters (picture belga)

In the first match of the evening Kirsten Flipkens played Patty Schnyder. Both players are regular visitors of the Antwerp tournament and played a solid match before the audience of 14,000 spectators. The Swiss player made the difference at the decisive moments and beat Flipkens at 6-4, 6-3.

Next Milk Inc., the popular Belgian band, performed between the two matches, increasing the temperature even more with hits like 'Black out' and 'Walk on water'.

The main event of the evening was the clash between Kim Clijsters and Venus Williams. right before that Yanina Wickmayer received a round of applause from the audience. "If you'll be cheering as loud as this next year, I'll definitely be taking part", she promised, visibly moved.

Kim Clijsters was received like a queen when she entered the court at the tones of 'Eye of the tiger'. The Antwerp Sportpaleis was in for a great night. Kim herself was sharp as well and in no time she took the first set with 6-1. With a highly varied and powerful game she left Venus no chance.

The American offered a better second set, but she still had to give in to Kim. Clijsters won an exiciting second set with 7-5. A promising victory for the coming season!

Afterwards both Kim and Venus praised the unique atmosphere in the Sportpaleis. "It is always a special feeling to be playing before a packed Sportpaleis", Clijsters admitted. "No US Open final can beat that."

Venus congratulated Kim with her strong performance. "Today she was really good. Belgium should be proud of such a champion. I'm happy to be back in Antwerp, I missed the audience here and the cold weather as well. In California it's always so hot", the American concluded.

Next year the Thomas Cook Diamond Games will be a two day event, on 8 and 9 December 2010.

Kim and Venus: 'Glad to be back in Antwerp'
Before their clash at the Thomas Cook Diamond Games in Antwerp, Kim Clijsters and Venus Williams held a press conference together. "Glad to be back in Antwerp", they said in harmony.
Bob Verbeeck, CEO of organiser Golazo, introduced the press conference. "It's a true honour to welcome both Kim and Venus back at the Thomas Cook Diamond Games. The Belgians clearly were looking forward to this as the Sportpaleis sold out completely."

"Even though we no longer are a WTA tournament but an exhibition tournament, our ambition remains the same: to present the Belgian audience the top women players. In 2010 we will be staging another edition of the Thomas Cook Diamond Games, which will become a two day tournament", according to Verbeeck.

Venus Williams spoke next. "I have a lot of memories of being in Antwerp, it's the fourth time I play the tournament. Being here, all the great times I've had here come to mind again.  Of course it is great to be playing against Kim. she already was an example for women's tennis during her first career and now, with her comeback, she is more so than ever before. We're happy she's back among us", the American said.

"I trained hard to be ready for Venus", Kim Clijsters took over. "I want to perform well and make it into a nice match. For next year my schedule is much less stretched than what it used to be in the past. I'm looking forward to the Grand Slams, but I want to be ready for the other tournaments as well. Even though tennis no longer is the most important thing in my life with Brian and Jada. Don't get me wrong here, I'm still ambitious and I want to have each match under my belt, but it's still a game after all", she concluded.
Kim flies Thomas Cook
At a well-attended press conference in Tessenderlo, Thomas Cook has been introduced as the event sponsor of the Diamond Games in Antwerp.
Kim Clijsters. (picture belga)
It's the first time the travel company invests in tennis. Thomas Cook not only becomes the event sponsor of the Thomas Cook Diamond Games, but will also sponsor both Kim Clijsters herself as well as the Kim Clijsters Cup.

The Kim Clijsters Cup is a renowned tournament for youngsters for 12 year olds and 14 year olds in Huy and Tessenderlo.
and fills the void left by the Carl Gantois Cup op. Kim, but also Justine Henin and Xavier Malisse, have won the event. For the 12 year olds the Kim Clijsters Cup will be held in Huy. The 14 year olds will be based in Tessenderlo..

When I was clearing my parents' house I came across a stack of pictures from when I was 12 years old," Kim says. "I really enjoyed that Carl Gantois Cup. I even won the Cup once, just like Justine Henin and Xavier Malisse. I'm very proud to lend my name to that tournament. The tournament aims to offer an opportunity for Belgian boys and girls to compete with European top players."

Adding weight to the Kim Clijsters Cup right from the start, the US Open title holder played against the Belgian champion for the under 12 year olds, Magali Kempen, and this on the hard courts at Tessenderlo.
Previous texts
08-12-2009 Flipkens replaces Wickmayer at the Thomas Cook Diamond Games
Clijsters: 'Looking forward to Thomas Cook Diamond Games'
01-12-2009 More than 14,000 tennis fans at sold out Thomas Cook Diamond Games
06-10-2009 Milk Inc at Thomas Cook Diamond Games Antwerp
Edition 2009: 9 december