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WTT Day 4: Clijsters Conquers Kenin

In a blockbuster clash of Grand Slam champions, Kim Clijsters had the final word.

Hall of Famer Clijsters conquered Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin, 5-3, leading the New York Empire past the Philadelphia Freedoms 25-17 on day four of the World TeamTennis season at The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia.

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Cracking her forehand decisively, Clijsters slashed three straight aces holding for 4-2 before serving out the set against Kenin decisively.

"We realized how good they were… and felt we had to bring it from the start," Clijsters said. "We didn’t have a letdown. In World TeamTennis, that type of energy is really important. You have to be ready from the start and we all had that mindset today.”

Tennis Express

Kenin grew up looking up to Clijsters and met one of her tennis heroes when she was just a kid growing up in Florida.

"She was this cute little adorable girl who had the sweetest voice and was intrigued by tennis," Clijsters recalled of the young Kenin. "She was so entertained by what was going on. She was a star in the making. She was born to do this."

A full 3,317 days passed between Clijsters' last Australian Open win in 2011 and Kenin’s first, this past January 31st. Kenin was impressed by the level the former world No. 1 delivered on a sweltering day.

“Unfortunately, I didn’t get the win, but she obviously played well," Kenin said. "I’m really happy to see her back on the court healthy and playing well.

"I’m truly happy that she came back. It shows that it doesn’t matter what age you’re at, you always can come back and do what you do best. She’s in great shape and playing really well.”

Chicago Smash 23, Orange County Breakers 16
Men’s Doubles - Luke Bambridge/Steve Johnson (Breakers) def. Brandon Nakashima/Rajeev Ram (Smash), 5-3 Men’s Singles - Nakashima (Smash) def. Johnson (Breakers), 5-4
Mixed Doubles - Ram/Bethanie Mattek-Sands (Smash) def. Gaby Dabrowski/Austin Krajicek (Breakers), 5-3
Women’s Singles - Sloane Stephens (Smash) def. Jennifer Brady (Breakers), 5-2
Women’s Doubles - Genie Bouchard/Mattek-Sands (Smash) def. Brady/Dabrowski (Breakers), 5-2

New York Empire 25, Philadelphia Freedoms 17
Mixed Doubles - Neal Skupski/Kim Clijsters (Empire) def. Fabrice Martin/Taylor Townsend (Freedoms), 5-4
Women’s Doubles - Sabine Lisicki/Kveta Peschke (Empire) def. Townsend/Caroline Dolehide (Freedoms), 5-4
Men’s Doubles - Skupski/Jack Sock (Empire) def. Martin/Donald Young (Freedoms), 5-3
Women’s Singles - Clijsters (Empire) def. Sofia Kenin (Freedoms), 5-3
Men’s Singles - Sock (Empire) def. Taylor Fritz (Freedoms), 5-3

Washington Kastles 21, San Diego Aviators 19
Men’s Singles - Ryan Harrison (Aviators) def. Tommy Paul (Kastles), 5-4
Women's Doubles - Coco Vandeweghe/Nicole Melichar (Aviators) def. Bernarda Pera/Arina Rodionova (Kastles), 5-3 Men's Doubles - Harrison/Jonny O'Mara (Aviators) def. Nick Monroe/Marcelo Arevalo (Kastles), 5-4
Women's Singles - Pera (Kastles) def. Christina McHale (Aviators), 5-3
Mixed Doubles - Arevalo/Rodionova (Kastles) def. O'Mara/Melichar (Aviators), 5-1

Thursday's Schedule:
Vegas Rollers vs. Orange County Breakers, 11 a.m. ET, ESPN+
Springfield Lasers vs. Washington Kastles, 3 p.m. ET, ESPN2
New York Empire vs. Orlando Storm, 7 p.m. ET, CBS Sports Network