Kim Clijsters called it her "Nadal forehand" and it took her to two match points against Caroline Wozniacki in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open. The look on her face after she saw that ball explode away for a clear winner was one of total relief, almost to the point of tears.
"Yes, I was happy with the way I hit that one," she replied with a smile. "That was such an important point and I just tried to hit a Nadal forehand. I just had to go for it, I felt I could rip it inside out."
And she did, setting herself up for 6-3, 7-6 win that had seemed suddenly less certain when Wozniacki, fighting tooth and nail as she always does, broke back when Clijsters had served for the match.
"I just had to try and be a little more dominant again," Clijsters said. "She stepped up her game and served better in the second set. It was so hot out there today (95 F) so today it was really tough -- I think one of the toughest conditions I've ever played in."
It was tough mentally and physical...