- Oscar Pistorius vomits during graphic testimony
- Toronto Mayor Rob Ford flubs daylight saving time advice: ‘Turn your clocks back’
- Americans don’t support sending U.S. troops to Ukraine
- Florida lawmakers move to wipe corrupt ‘Boss Hogg’ town from map
- N.C. math whiz to unveil secret of March Madness picks
- An appealing offer: Chiquita merges with Fyffes to make world’s largest banana firm
- Amnesty International says Syria guilty of war crimes for food blockade
- Mitch McConnell on beating tea party: ‘We are going to crush them’
- Adam Lanza’s dad: He would’ve killed me ‘in a heartbeat’
- North Korea holds election: 100% turnout, Kim Jong-un gets — 100% of vote
Clijsters to lead Belgium vs US in Fed Cup
Belgium would have been an overwhelming favorite to reach the quarterfinals, but the sudden retirement of Justine Henin last week leaves the match more balanced against a U.S. team that has reached the last two finals without the injured Williams sisters.
Clijsters, who beat Li Na for her fourth Grand Slam title last weekend, said Wednesday she still lacked sleep after her long trip home from Melbourne. However, she expects to be ready to play the opening singles Saturday on an indoor hard court.
“I was able to make the switch real fast,” Clijsters said.
Her Australian Open cup will be prominently displayed at the 12,500-capacity Antwerp Sports Palace.
Based on ranking, No. 48 Bethanie Mattek-Sands and No. 61 Melanie Oudin of the U.S. should be no match for No. 2 Clijsters and No. 26 Yanina Wickmayer. But the U.S. record in recent years shows the Americans haven’t needed the Williams sisters to advance. They reached the last two finals, losing each to Italy.
Venus Williams is sidelined after injuring her groin at the Australian Open, while Serena has been out with a foot injury since Wimbledon.
The U.S. team also includes Vania King and doubles specialist Liezel Huber.
And facing a favorite, often away from home, no longer scares them.
“It is always a challenge when you’re an underdog, but it is something our team really thrives on,” Fernandez said. “It brings out the best in our team.”
The Belgians have already heeded the warning.
“They perform great when they feel they are part of a team,” Clijsters said.
Clijsters is thriving in just about every situation these days. She made the final in Sydney before winning her first Australian Open crown, which puts her within reach of regaining the No. 1 ranking.
Taxpayers must pay the freight for over-budget train projects
- Kim Jong-un calls for execution of 33 Christians
- Rand Paul wins 2014 CPAC straw poll, Ted Cruz finishes a distant second
- Senate Democrats, Republicans spar over restoring unemployment benefits
- CURL: Today's GOP really is Reagan's 'Big Tent' party
- As Crimea falls, Obama takes Key Largo golf vacation, Biden hits Virgin Islands
- Russia besieges Crimea as U.S. seeks diplomacy; Putin remains undeterred by Obama's sanctions
- SAUERBREY: Taxing Marylanders until they flee
- Investigators puzzle: How does a 777 jetliner just disappear into thin air?
- Florida lawmakers move to wipe corrupt 'Boss Hogg' town from map
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again