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
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
Belgium as the only child of a car
dealer and a house wife. She began playing tennis at 4 years old.
Flipkens played tennis, football, volleyball and basketball before
eventually deciding to pursue a career as a tennis player at the age
of 12. She then went to the tennis academy in
Wilrijk where she became
Kim Clijsters . At the age of 17, after winning
Wimbledon and the US Open as a junior, she dropped out of school to
continue her career as a professional tennis player. She speaks
Dutch, English, French and German. One of her trademarks are her
prescripted glasses, which she has to wear since she's myopic .
In 2001, Flipkens won the bronze medal at the European Youth Olympics
Murcia , Spain.
In 2002, Flipkens and
Elke Clijsters won the girls' US Open doubles
title, beating Shadisha Robsinon and Tory Zawacki in the final with
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
Michaëlla Krajicek , 6–3, 7–5.
Following her two wins in two Grand Slam juniors events, Flipkens was
selected to join the
Fed Cup team for the 2003
Fed Cup 's
semifinal opposing the United States. She played her first Fed Cup
match against then WTA no. 17
Meghann Shaughnessy and lost 7–6
(7/4), 6–7 (8/10), 7–9. She finished 2003 as World no. 1 in both
singles and doubles on the junior rankings. At the end of the year,
she received the award for Best Belgian Talent and was named ITF
Junior World Champion .
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
Belgium losing the final with 3–2.
In 2007, Flipkens suffered from an injury to the wrist, which resulted
in her not being able to play for several months. In 2008, she
reached the second round of WTA Estoril, beating Lucie Šafářová
with 7–5, 6–4 in the first round. She also won three ITF
tournaments in 2008.
Kirsten Flipkens at the 2009 US Open
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
Jelena Dokic and
Anabel Medina Garrigues
Anabel Medina Garrigues . She suffered a
defeat in the third round, losing to compatriot and eventual champion
Kim Clijsters , 0–6, 2–6. In October 2009, she again defeated
Garrigues to reach the quarterfinals of the Luxembourg Open. After
Australian Open 2009 , Flipkens reached the top 100 for the first
time in her career at the end of 2009.
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
Ayumi Morita in the first round, 6–1, 6–4. Maria Sharapova
beat her in straight sets in the second round. In the week before
Wimbledon, she reached the semifinals of the UNICEF Open, a WTA
tournament on grass at
Rosmalen , where she lost to
Andrea Petkovic .
Wimbledon 2010 , she lost in the second round to
Yanina Wickmayer .
She had been troubled by a recurring wrist injury and underwent
surgery at the end of the 2010 season.
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
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
Samantha Stosur in the first round and
reached the semi-finals.
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 ,
Mona Barthel and
Lucie Hradecká ,
In October, she participated in the
Generali Ladies Linz tournament,
where she won through qualifying and got onto the main draw. She then
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
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
Mona Barthel in the semifinals
(4–6, 4–6). Her next tournament was the first Grand Slam of the
Australian Open . She defeated
Mandy Minella , Klara
Zakopalová , and
Valeria Savinykh in the first rounds to advance to
the fourth round where she lost 1–6, 0–6 to
Maria Sharapova .
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
Agnieszka Radwańska . She started the
French Open 2013 as 21st
seed, and beat
Flavia Pennetta in the first round before losing to
Francesca Schiavone . After the French Open, Flipkens
reached top 20 for the first time.
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
Simona Halep .
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
Marion Bartoli in the semi-final.
During the semifinal, Flipkens suffered from a knee-injury, after
which she didn't play for a month.
She reached a career high of 13th in the world on 5 August 2013.
In the first round of Toronto , she beat
Venus Williams 0–6, 6–4,
6–2 and reached the quarterfinal before losing to world no. 1 and
Serena Williams 0–6, 3–6.
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
In October, it was announced that Flipkens would stop working with
Maxime Braeckman due to Braeckman wanting to stay more at home with
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
Henri Leconte in a mixed doubles match.
On 22 December 2013, she received the prestigious award for
Sportswoman of the Year in
Belgium as well as the VTV Award for
"Belgian Player of the Year" for the second year in a row.
Flipkens began 2014 by reaching a semifinal in Auckland , where she
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
Maria Sharapova . In Miami , she reached the fourth round before
losing to Sharapova again.
In May, Flipkens announced that she would begin to work with
Xavier Malisse . However, their cooperation ended in
June, after the
French Open , because it didn't work out.
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.
Flipkens reached the quarterfinal of Birmingham , where she was
Barbora Záhlavová-Strýcová , and the third round of
Angelique Kerber .
As a wildcard in the tournament of New Haven , she made it into the
quarterfinal after an epic against
Andrea Petkovic (4–6, 7–6 (4),
7–6 (6)) but was eventually beaten by
Samantha Stosur 3–6, 6–4,
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
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
Belgium back to the World Group II after
the team lost their final tie against Croatia.
She reached her first quarterfinal of the season in Katowice , where
she lost to compatriot
Alison Van Uytvanck
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
Elena Vesnina .
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
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
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
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
Garbiñe Muguruza (6–4, 6–2). In doubles, she and her
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)
Anett Kontaveit (7–6, 6–4). In the final, she eventually lost
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
Camila Giorgi (6–2, 5–7, 6–4).
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
Yanina Wickmayer ), Flipkens played two singles
matches. She lost the first one against
Aleksandra Krunic but beat the
Ivana Jorovic in the decider, and with this victory
Belgium of a place back into World Group II after three
consecutive years in the Europe-Africa Zone I.
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 .
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
Caroline Garcia , with 6–4, 4–6, 6–1. Flipkens also
reached the semifinal in doubles, together with her partner Ana
In Wimbledon , Flipkens reached the second round, where she lost to
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
Lucie Šafářová , who retired after losing the
first set with 6–2. Eventually, Flipkens was beaten in R16 by Laura
Siegemund from Germany, with 6–4, 6–3. In doubles, Flipkens
Yanina Wickmayer . In the first round, the Belgians
faced Kazakh duo Shvedova /Voskoboeva , who retired after losing the
first set with 6–1. However, Flipkens and Wickmayer were defeated
in R16 by the Spanish team Muguruza /Suarez Navarro , the 4th seeds,
with 7–5, 2–6, 6–2.
In the US Open , Flipkens didn't get past the first round as she was
demolished by 5th seed
Simona Halep with 6–0, 6–2. In doubles,
she also lost in the 1st round, alongside
Belinda Bencic .
In Seoul , Flipkens won her first WTA doubles title, partnering
Johanna Larsson from Sweden. They defeated
Akiko Omae and Peangtarn
Plipuech in the final with 6–2, 6–3.
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
Viktoriya Tomova ,
Paula Cristina Gonçalves , and 7th seed
Donna Vekić . In the 1st round, she lost to
Alizé Cornet 6-4, 6-2.
Fed Cup tie against Romania, Flipkens won her singles match
Monica Niculescu and thusly aided the Belgian team in securing
a place in the World Group play-offs, since the team beat the
Romanians with 3–1. At the 2017 Hungarian Ladies Open ,
Flipkens was defeated in the 1st round by qualifier Aliaksandra
Sasnovich 4-6, 6-4, 6-1.
Flipkens reached her first quarterfinal of the season in the
WTA-tournament of Acapulco , where she lost to
Kristina Mladenovic .
In the prestigious tournament of Indian Wells , she beat 17-year-old
CiCi Bellis but got beaten by
Garbine Muguruza in the second
round. In Miami she was beaten by
Dominika Cibulkova in the third
Johanna Larsson , Flipkens reached another doubles final in
Nürnberg . The pair was beaten by
Nicole Melichar and Anna Smith with
3–6, 6–3, 11–9.
At the French Open, Flipkens reached the 2nd round but lost to
Samantha Stosur . In doubles, she played together with ex-winner
Francesca Schiavone . They made it to the quarterfinals.
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
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
16 September 2012
Bell Challenge , Quebec City, Canada
22 June 2013
Topshelf Open 's-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands
6 March 2016
Monterrey Open Monterrey, Mexico
6–3, 2–6, 3–6
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.
GRAND SLAM TOURNAMENTS
0 / 7
0 / 4
0 / 4
0 / 5
0 / 15
WINS OVER TOP 10 PLAYERS
UNICEF Open , Netherlands
Miami , US
6–0, 4–6, 6–1
Wimbledon Championships , UK
4–6, 6–3, 6–4
Mallorca , Spain
Summer Olympics , Rio de Janeiro
4–6, 6–3, 7–6(7–5)
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* ^ "Q AND A With
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* ^ http://sporza.be/cm/sporza/tennis/1.1807576
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* ^ http://www.nieuwsblad.be/sportwereld/cnt/dmf20140615_01141887
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* ^ http://sporza.be/cm/sporza/tennis/1.2501354
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* ^ http://sporza.be/cm/sporza/tennis/Fed_Cup/1.2629087
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Wikimedia Commons has media related to KIRSTEN FLIPKENS .
* Official website
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Kirsten Flipkens at the
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