Kim Clijsters suffers surprise exit at French Open

The Flemish tennis diva Kim Clijsters, the world's number two, has suffered a surprise defeat on the Paris clay. The Limburg athlete was stunned by her Dutch opponent Arantxa Rus, the world's number 114, in three sets. Xavier Malisse was also ousted, with Yanina Wickmayer saving the Belgian honour.

Kim Clijsters managed to win the opening set of her second-round match 6-3, and also had two match points when she was 5-2 up in the second. However, Clijsters failed to take both occasions to clinch the match.

20-year-old Arantxa Rus smelled her chance and came back from 2-5 down to claim the second set 7-5 and level the tie at 1 set all. The talented Dutchwoman, a former number 1 in the junior competition, kept the momentum in the third set which she won 6-1. 

Clijsters was still recovering from an ankle injury that she sustained at her cousin's wedding party last month. However, her ankle was not to blame for the defeat. "I had no physical  woes. My ankle was not bothering me, so that was not the problem."

It was very windy in Paris and Clijsters had problems with her toss. This caused a number of double faults. "I was concentrating too much on this. That was one of the crucial factors in the match."

"I have no regrets. If I hadn't been ready to play tough matches, I wouldn't have come to Paris. I did all I could considering the circumstances. I am glad that I gave myself that chance."

Wickmayer gives Belgian fans some good news

Earlier, there had been better news for Belgian fans as Yanina Wickmayer managed to reach the third round.

Wickmayer (WTA-22) despatched Japan's Ayumi Morita in straight sets: 6-4, 7-5 despite nursing back problems. Wickmayer will next meet Agnieska Radwanska of Poland, the 12th seed in Paris. This will be a first tough test for Wickmayer.

In the men's singles, Xavier Malisse was downed by Spain's Fernando Verdasco, the 16th seed. Malisse gave Belgian fans someting to dream about when he won the opening set 6-4, but couldn't keep the high pace. Verdasco had to battle hard though to take the match 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 and 6-1.

The only Belgian man left in the singles is Steve Darcis.