Kirsten Flipkens is one of the big talents in Belgian tennis. A former Wimbledon and US Open junior champion, she was attributed a big future in 2003, but several injury problems prevented her from making her way up.
Since the end of last season, Flipkens is completely free of injury woes and is steadily making her comeback in the rankings, showing she hasn't lost her talent. At the Australian Open, the Antwerp athlete, 43rd on the WTA professional rankings, made it into the last 16 at a Grand Slam event for the first time. "Together with my first WTA win in Quebec, this was a real milestone for me", Flipkens told reporters.
A new milestone could be the clash against the world's number 2, Maria Sharapova. "I will try to enjoy it." Sharapova starts as the big favourite: "Still, you have to believe in your chances, otherwise you'd better not start the match."
It's over for Yanina Wickmayer
The other Belgian left in the singles, Yanina Wickmayer, couldn't make it into the fourth round. Wickmayer (WTA-20) was ousted by Russia's Maria Kirilenko (WTA-14) in straight sets: 7-6, 6-3. The match took almost 2 hours. Wickmayer is the leading Belgian tennis diva after Justine Henin and Kim Clijsters decided to quit.