KIRSTEN "FLIPPER" FLIPKENS (pronounced ; born 10 January 1986) is a Belgian tennis player. Her WTA career-high singles ranking is World No. 13, which she achieved in August 2013. She had success as a junior, winning the girls' doubles title at the 2002 US Open and the singles titles at the 2003 Wimbledon Championships and the 2003 US Open . Since then she has won 1 WTA singles title, 1 WTA doubles title, 12 ITF singles titles, and 1 ITF doubles title. Her best Grand Slam performance was at the 2013 Wimbledon Championships , where she reached the semifinal. In the same year, she was crowned Sportswoman of the Year at the Belgian Sport Awards . In 2016, Flipkens entered in her first Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro and made it to the fourth round in both singles and doubles. She is also the Belgian player who has played the most years in Fed Cup (14 years as of 2017). For this reason, she received the Fed Cup Commitment Award in 2016.
* 1 Early life
* 2 Career
* 2.1 Junior career
* 2.2 Professional career
* 2.2.1 2003–2011 * 2.2.2 2012 * 2.2.3 2013 * 2.2.4 2014 * 2.2.5 2015 * 2.2.6 2016 * 2.2.7 2017
* 3 Playing Style * 4 Sponsors
* 5 WTA career finals
* 5.1 Singles: 3 (1 title, 2 runners-up) * 5.2 Doubles: 3 (2 titles, 1 runner-up)
* 6 ITF Circuit Finals
* 6.1 Singles: 23 (12–11)
* 7 Singles performance timeline * 8 Doubles performance timeline * 9 Wins over top 10 players * 10 References * 11 External links
Born on 10 January 1986 in
In 2001, Flipkens won the bronze medal at the European Youth Olympics
In 2002, Flipkens and Elke Clijsters won the girls' US Open doubles title, beating Shadisha Robsinon and Tory Zawacki in the final with 6–1, 6–3.
In 2003, Flipkens won the
Wimbledon Championships in Girls' Singles
Anna Chakvetadze 6–4, 3–6, 6–3 and the US Open in
girls' singles, defeating
Flipkens played her first professional match in 2001, but didn't
officially become a professional tennis player until 2003. She won her
2nd ITF title in Innsbruck, Austria in July 2004 but then struggled
with a congenital back injury during the second half of 2004, causing
her to be unable to play for several months. In August 2005, she won
her 3rd ITF title in Hechingen, Germany. In October 2005, Flipkens won
her first main draw match on a WTA tournament in Hasselt, against
Silvia Farina Elia . At the 2006
French Open , Flipkens
qualified for the main draw of a Grand Slam for the first time in her
career. She reached the second round. In
Wimbledon 2006 , Flipkens
reached the main draw of a Grand Slam for the second time. She lost to
Jamea Jackson in the first round. She partnered then British no. 2
Andy Murray in mixed doubles . She also reached the second round in
the 2006 US Open after qualifying, falling to eventual semifinalist
Jelena Janković . In September 2006, she replaced the injured Kim
Clijsters as the second member of the Belgian
Fed Cup team in the
final against Italy , alongside
Justine Henin-Hardenne . Flipkens lost
both her singles matches (against Schiavone and Santangelo ). She and
Henin-Hardenne then played the decisive doubles together, but had to
retire in the third and final set due to Henin-Hardenne tearing a
muscle in her leg, which led to
In 2009, Flipkens reached the second round of the
Australian Open and
French Open . She defeated no. 30
Ágnes Szávay in order to reach
the second round at Wimbledon, where she faced
Elena Baltacha .
Flipkens beat the British wildcard in straight sets to set up an
encounter with top seed
Dinara Safina and a place in a Grand Slam
third round for the first time in her career. She lost to the Russian,
after having a set point in the first set, 5–7, 1–6. At the 2009
US Open , she reached the third round, after victories in straight
At her next Grand Slam, the 2010
Australian Open , Flipkens lost in
the first round to another unseeded countrywoman making a comeback,
Justine Henin , 4–6, 3–6. At the 2010
French Open , she beat
Flipkens started 2011 with a first-round loss at the Australian Open and did not win one Grand Slam match that year. She reached the semifinals at the 2011 Grand Prix SAR La Princesse Lalla Meryem in Fes, Morocco, during the clay-court season. At Rosmalen, she teamed up with Coco Vandeweghe to reach the semifinals in doubles.
In April 2012, doctors discovered four life-threatening blood clots
in her calf, which prevented her from playing for two months. During
this time, her ranking dropped to no. 262 and she lost her funding
from the Flemish Tennis Association (VTV). She returned to the tour
Rosmalen , where she beat
She qualified in singles for the 2012 US Open and made it to the
second round, where she was defeated by eventual finalist Victoria
Azarenka . She also partnered with
Kim Clijsters in doubles, but they
were beaten in the first round. In September 2012, she won the Bell
Challenge in Quebec for her first WTA title, after wins over
Dominika Cibulková ,
In October, she participated in the Generali Ladies Linz tournament, where she won through qualifying and got onto the main draw. She then defeated Alizé Cornet in the first round, a qualifier in the second round, and 2nd seed Ana Ivanovic 6–4, 6–0 in the quarterfinals. Ultimately, she lost in three sets to Julia Görges in the semifinals. This result brought her to a career-high 58th position on the WTA rankings. During this month, Kim Clijsters announced that she would help her as a part-coach. In December 2012, Maxime Braeckman became her new coach full-time coach, but she still occasionally worked with Clijsters.
At the end of the season, she was nominated for "Comeback Player of the Year" at the WTA Awards , an award that would eventually go to Yaroslava Shvedova . In December, Flipkens received the VTV Award for "Belgian Player of the Year".
Flipkens started her 2013 season at the Moorilla Hobart International
. In the first round, she won against
Francesca Schiavone 2–6,
6–3, 7–6 (7/3) and continued with wins over
Bojana Jovanovski and
Monica Niculescu , before falling to
She then proceeded to reach the quarterfinal of Memphis (lost to
Magdaléna Rybáriková ) as well as the quarterfinal of Miami , where
Petra Kvitová in the second round before eventually falling
To prepare for Wimbledon , Flipkens participated in the Aegon Classic
in Birmingham. Top-seeded of the tournament, she was free from the
first round. In the second round, she beat qualifier Ajla Tomljanovic
4–6, 6–4, 7–5. She lost 7–6 (5), 6–2 to Magdaléna
Rybáriková in the third round. A week later, Flipkens was at the
Topshelf Open in 's-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands. She advanced to the
final but was ultimately beaten by
Flipkens played at Wimbledon as the 20th seed having not even played
in the qualifiers the previous year due to her low ranking. She
exceeded expectations by advancing to the semifinals of a Grand Slam
for the first time in her career, beating
Flavia Pennetta in the
fourth round with 7–6, 6–3 and former champion
Petra Kvitová with
4–6, 6–3, 6–4 in the quarterfinals. However, she was defeated
1–6, 2–6 by eventual champion
She reached a career high of 13th in the world on 5 August 2013.
She began the US Open as 12th seed. However, she was beaten in straight sets in the first round by two-time champion Venus Williams , who took revenge for her loss against Flipkens two weeks earlier in Toronto.
In October, it was announced that Flipkens would stop working with Maxime Braeckman due to Braeckman wanting to stay more at home with his family.
Flipkens reached another quarterfinal in Linz and finished the year
as 20th in the world. In December, she took part in the Kim Clijsters
Invitational , an exhibition tournament where she won against Ana
Ivanovic in a singles match and lost against
Kim Clijsters and Xavier
Malisse , whilst partnering
On 22 December 2013, she received the prestigious award for
Sportswoman of the Year in
Flipkens began 2014 by reaching a semifinal in Auckland , where she lost to Ana Ivanovic , 0–6, 6–7. The next week, she reached the quarterfinal of Hobart (losing to Garbiñe Muguruza ). She then beat Laura Robson in the Australian Open 2014 , where she ended up reaching the second round in which she was defeated by Casey Dellacqua .
In February, she made it into the quarterfinal of Paris , but lost to
In the French Open , Flipkens lost in the second round to Julia Glushko . Flipkens withdrew from the second round in doubles, with Dominika Cibulková , after she'd fainted on court during training and doctors at the site had sent her to the hospital where she'd spent the night on intensive care since heart problems were feared. However, later tests revealed that she was healthy and fit to play.
As a wildcard in the tournament of New Haven , she made it into the
quarterfinal after an epic against
In the US Open, she lost in the first round to Italian Sara Errani .
Flipkens finished the season as no. 46 in the world.
At the end of the season, she took part in the first edition of the International Premier Tennis League , where she played for the Manila Mavericks and was teammates with – amongst others – Maria Sharapova , Andy Murray and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga . During this two-and-a-half week during event, Flipkens mainly excelled as a mixed doubles player, alongside multiple champion Daniel Nestor . The Manila Mavericks ended third in the competition.
Flipkens started 2015 with a knee injury and only won one match
during the Australian season (against
Johanna Larsson in Auckland). In
Australian Open 2015, she was beaten by friend and doubles partner
Dominika Cibulková 3–6, 6–3, 6–1. During the Fed Cup, she and
her teammates failed to bring
She reached her first quarterfinal of the season in Katowice , where
she lost to compatriot
Alison Van Uytvanck . During the tournament of
Stuttgart in April, she was forced to retire because of an 11.5 cm
tear in her upper leg. This healed better than expected and against
all the odds she made it into the
French Open , where she lost the
first round against
In Wimbledon , she played the second round against former no. 1 Victoria Azarenka , but lost 6–4, 6–2. After Wimbledon, she fell out of the top 100 for the first time since 2012.
In July, she played the semifinal of Istanbul (beating – amongst others – Francesca Schiavone and Alizé Cornet ) and the quarterfinal of Baku . Thanks to these two good results, she made it back into the top 100. She proceeded to play the final of 100k ITF Vancouver, where she lost to Johanna Konta from Britain.
At the US Open , she was beaten in the first round by Varvara Lepchenko . In doubles, she played alongside Laura Robson . They reached the second round, where they were beaten by fifth seeds Caroline Garcia and Katarina Srebotnik .
After the US Open, Flipkens was diagnosed with a cyst on the wrist, which made her unable to play, resulting in her dropping out of the top 100 again. She made her comeback in the Linz Open . This comeback was successful; Flipkens reached the semifinal (beating – amongst others – former number 1 Caroline Wozniacki ) before eventually falling to Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6–3, 3–6, 6–2.
She officially finished the year 2015 as no. 93 in the world.
At the end of the season, Flipkens continued to play a couple of WTA 125k's, in Poitiers, Hua Hin and Taipei. Poitiers and Hua Hin were no success, as she respectively lost in the second and in the first round. In Taipei, however, Flipkens managed to reach the semifinal. This caused her ranking to rise up to 85 after the official season's end rankings.
Flipkens at the 2016 US Open
Flipkens started the year with a quarterfinal in Auckland . She then reached the second round of the Australian Open , where she lost to 3rd seed Garbiñe Muguruza (6–4, 6–2). In doubles, she and her partner Dominika Cibulkova had their best Grand Slam result yet. They reached the 4th round where they lost to Anastasia and Arina Rodionova (5–7, 6–2, 6–4).
In the tournaments of St-Petersburg and Doha , Flipkens lost in the first round. In the following tournament in Monterrey, she reached the final after beating Francesca Schiavone (6–3, 7–6), Alison Van Uytvanck (6–2, 4–6, 6–3), Johanna Konta (6–3, 6–7, 6–1) and Anett Kontaveit (7–6, 6–4). In the final, she eventually lost to Heather Watson (3–6, 6–2, 6–3). This good result was rewarded with a place back in the top 60, at no. 59.
After the tournaments of Indian Wells and Miami (where she
respectively lost in the final qualifying round against Aliaksandra
Sasnovich and the second round against
Madison Keys ), Flipkens went
on to play the quarterfinals of Katowice , where she was defeated by
Flipkens was part of the Belgian
Fed Cup team against Serbia as the
two nations were competing for a spot in World Group II. As Belgium's
second player (after
The clay season didn't go well for Flipkens. She was plagued by a wrist injury, and only managed to win one match (against Donna Vekic in Istanbul) in the clay tournaments she entered. In the French Open , she was destroyed by Alizé Cornet in the first round (6–1, 6–0). In doubles, she and her partner Dominika Cibulkova reached the second round, where they retired vs. 4th seeds Babos /Shvedova .
In the Mallorca Open , Flipkens stunted versus freshly crowned French Open victor and world's number 2, Garbine Muguruza , beating her in the first round with 6–3, 6–4. She proceeded to reach the semifinal, where she was eventually beaten by the future tournament winner, Caroline Garcia , with 6–4, 4–6, 6–1. Flipkens also reached the semifinal in doubles, together with her partner Ana Ivanovic .
In Wimbledon , Flipkens reached the second round, where she lost to 9th seed Madison Keys with 6–4, 4–6, 6–3.
Flipkens entered her first Olympics ever in both singles and doubles.
In singles, she stunned the gold medalist from Sydney 2000 , and three
times doubles champion,
Venus Williams in the first round, defeating
her after an epic match with 4–6, 6–3, 7–6(5). In the second
round, Flipkens beat
In the US Open , Flipkens didn't get past the first round as she was
demolished by 5th seed
At the end of the season, Flipkens took part in the IPTL for the third time in a row, as a member of the Micromax Indian Aces . The team ended up as runner-up, losing to the Singapore Slammers with 30–14. She was one of the players to receive the Fed Cup Commitment Award at the end of 2016 for being the Belgian player who's represented her country in the Fed Cup the longest: a total of 13 years in 2016. Flipkens was also nominated for a WTA Award in the category of Shot of the Year for a spectacular behind-the-back winner she scored against Kristyna Pliskova in Seoul . She was voted into the final but the award would eventually go to Agnieszka Radwanska .
Flipkens finished the year as no. 63 in the world.
Flipkens began the 2017 year at the 2017 ASB Classic . She lost in the 1st round to 8th seed and eventual finalist Ana Konjuh 6-4, 3-6, 6-3. Next, Flipkens competed at the 2017 Hobart International . In the 1st round, she beat wildcard Jaimee Fourlis 7-6(10), 6-4. In the 2nd round, Flipkens was defeated by 3rd seed and eventual finalist Monica Niculescu 6-3, 6-2. At the 2017 Australian Open , Flipkens lost in the 1st round to 9th seed Johanna Konta 7-5, 6-2.
After the Australian Open, Flipkens played qualifying at the 2017 St.
Petersburg Ladies\' Trophy . Flipkens made it to the main draw after
Flipkens reached her first quarterfinal of the season in the
WTA-tournament of Acapulco , where she lost to
At the French Open, Flipkens reached the 2nd round but lost to
Flipkens describes herself as "an all court player" whose biggest strength is her "serve and all round game". She makes up for her short height and relative lack of physical strength with her good forehand and serve, her quickness and agility, and her ability to play almost every shot (which results in her frequently being awarded with "Shot of the Day" by the WTA ). Her trademark shot is backhand slice and she often plays serve-and-volley . She prefers fast courts. Her favorite surface is grass.
Flipkens is sponsored by Babolat for tennis rackets. Her glasses are sponsored by Oakley . She used to wear Adidas clothing, but as of 2017 she launched her own clothing line and now plays in clothes she's designed herself. She also designed the official outfits of the Belgian Fed Cup team .
WTA CAREER FINALS
SINGLES: 3 (1 TITLE, 2 RUNNERS-UP)
WINNER – LEGEND
Grand Slam tournaments (0–0)
WTA Tour Championships (0–0)
Premier Mandatory & Premier 5 (0–0)
TITLES BY SURFACE
OUTCOME NO. DATE TOURNAMENT SURFACE OPPONENT SCORE
DOUBLES: 3 (2 TITLES, 1 RUNNER-UP)
WINNER – LEGEND
Grand Slam tournaments (0–0)
WTA Tour Championships (0–0)
Premier Mandatory (F) finalist; (SF) semifinalist; (QF) quarterfinalist; (#R) rounds 4, 3, 2, 1; (RR) round-robin stage; (Q#) qualification round; (A) absent; (Z#) Davis/ Fed Cup Zonal Group (with number indication) or (PO) play-off; (G) gold, (F-S) silver or (SF-B) bronze Olympic medal; a (NMS) downgraded Masters Series/1000 tournament; (NH) not held. To avoid confusion and double counting, these charts are updated either at the conclusion of a tournament, or when the player's participation in the tournament has ended.
TOURNAMENT 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2016 SR W-L
GRAND SLAM TOURNAMENTS
Australian Open 1R 1R A 1R 1R 2R 3R 2R 0 / 7 4–7
French Open 1R A A A 2R A 2R QF 0 / 4 5–4
Wimbledon 1R A A 2R 1R A 1R 3R 0 / 4 1–4
US Open 1R A 1R 2R 1R 2R 1R
0 / 5 2–6
WIN–LOSS 0–4 0–1 0–1 2–3 1–3 2–2 3-2 0 / 15 7–16
WINS OVER TOP 10 PLAYERS
# PLAYER RANK EVENT SURFACE RD SCORE
2. Petra Kvitová 8 Miami , US Hard 3R 6–0, 4–6, 6–1
3. Petra Kvitová 8 Wimbledon Championships , UK Grass QF 4–6, 6–3, 6–4
4. Garbiñe Muguruza 2 Mallorca , Spain Grass 1R 6–3, 6–4
5. Venus Williams 6 Summer Olympics , Rio de Janeiro Hard 1R 4–6, 6–3, 7–6(7–5)
* ^ http://www.standaard.be/cnt/dmf20130722_00666546
* ^ http://www.fedcup.com/en/teams/team.aspx?id=BEL
* ^ http://www.fedcup.com/en/players/commitment-award.aspx
* ^ A B C D
* ^ http://www.kirstenflipkens.be/content/biografie
* ^ A B
* ^ http://www.sport.be/nl/tennis/article.html?Article_ID=365342
* ^ http://teambelgium.be/nl/medailles
* ^ Fayat, Serge (10 September 2002). "US Open – Elke Clijsters
La Libre Belgique (in French). Retrieved 20 January
* ^ "Wimbledon – Une Belge remporte le tournoi junior". La Libre
Belgique. 6 July 2003. Retrieved 20 January 2013.
* ^ Fayat, Serge (18 November 2013). "
* ^ Vande Weyer, Philippe; Thirion, Stéphane; Leonardi, Paolo (18
December 2003). "Sportifs de l\'année 2003".
Le Soir (in French).
* ^ "Roddick, Henin-Hardenne named ITF World Champions" (PDF).
itftennis.com. p. 2. Retrieved 20 January 2013.
* ^ "Wimbledon:
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