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August 21, 2017

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Clijsters sent into retirement by British teenager Robson

NEW YORK -- British teen Laura Robson ended the singles career of three-time U.S. Open champion Kim Clijsters on Wednesday with an emotional 7-6 (7/4), 7-6 (7/5) victory in the second round of the U.S. Open.

Clijsters, whose Grand Slam title haul also includes last year's Australian Open, had not lost at the U.S. Open since falling to compatriot Justine Henin in the 2003 final on the same Arthur Ashe Stadium court.

That just made her shock downfall all the more poignant.

"This feels like the perfect place to retire. I just wish it wasn't today," Clijsters said. "I gave it all and just wasn't good enough at the end of the match."

Robson snapped the Belgian's 22-match U.S. Open win streak, smacking a tricky forehand winner on the line on the penultimate point and firing a service winner to claim the victory on her third match-point chance.

"I was just trying to play as hard as I could because I knew if I didn't Kim would dominate because she's such an aggressive player," Robson said. "I just went out there to keep getting the ball back and work my butt off."

On a day when Wimbledon and Olympic winner Serena Williams turned her left ankle in a doubles match and Britain's third-seeded Andy Murray became the first man to reach the third round, nothing topped Clijsters saying goodbye.

Clijsters, 29, made her final bow on the same court where she won her first Grand Slam title in 2005 and followed it up with crowns in 2009 and 2010. She had said she was leaving the sport for more time as a wife and mother.

"One of my biggest dreams came true in 2005 winning here," Clijsters said. "Every time I came back I was so inspired by the energy that was out on this court and I played some of my best matches on this court.

"It has all been worth it. But I look forward to having the next part of my life coming up."

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