Officers Elected and New Directors Appointed to Board of Directors for International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum

NEWPORT, R.I., September 19, 2012 – Corporate leaders, a tennis industry veteran, and a former WTA star are among the eight individuals who have been elected to the Board of Directors of the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum. The new board members were announced at the Hall of Fame’s Annual Meeting in New York City in early September. The newly elected board members are Jim Citrin, senior partner at the global executive search firm of Spencer Stuart; Marianne Gaige, president & CEO of Cathedral Corporation; Jim Goldman, president & CEO of Godiva Chocolatier; David A. Haggerty, current first vice president of the USTA, incoming president of the USTA, and former chairman of Head USA; Bob Jeffrey, chairman and CEO of JWT Worldwide; Stephen Lewinstein, owner of the real estate investment and development firm of Stephen R. Lewinstein Associates and part owner of the Boston Celtics; Betsy Nagelsen-McCormack, a former top-25 player on the WTA Tour, and wife of the late Mark McCormack; and Mark J. Panarese, managing director of Rockefeller Financial.


“We are very pleased to welcome these talented, committed individuals to the Board of Directors of the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum,” said Christopher E. Clouser, chairman of the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum. “Our new board members bring a variety of expertise and talents to the organization and their active participation will be very helpful in our efforts to preserve the history of tennis and to provide a premier landmark for tennis fans, while honoring the game’s greatest champions and most influential contributors to the game of tennis.”


In addition to the new members of the Board of Directors, the following officers were elected for two-year terms: Christopher E. Clouser as chairman, Mark L. Stenning as chief executive officer, Stan Smith as president, Donald L. Dell as vice chairman, Barbara A. Georgescu as vice chairman, Nancy von Auersperg as treasurer, and Peggy H. Woolard as secretary.

The new members of the Board of Directors will begin their terms immediately. Each will serve the organization in various capacities ranging from oversight of the extensive museum to development of the Hall of Fame’s annual ATP World Tour tennis tournament and Hall of Fame induction programs, as well as in other important departments such as fundraising and marketing. Following are brief biographies of the new board members. 


Jim Citrin is a senior partner at the global executive search firm, Spencer Stuart, where he leads the North American Board & CEO Practice. During his 19 years with the firm, Citrin has completed more than 500 CEO, board director, chief financial officer, and other top management searches and has worked with clients on CEO succession. Citrin’s clients include world-leading media, technology, communications, and consumer companies, financial services institutions, private-equity firms, and educational and not-for-profit institutions. Among his notable placements are the CEOs of Yahoo!, The New York Times Company, Best Buy, Univision, Charter Communications, Discovery Communications, Telemundo, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, PBS, NPR, MetLife, First Data, Nokia, Starz, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Hyatt Hotels, the MIT Media Lab, and New York Public Library. He has also co-led CEO searches for some of the world’s leading sports enterprises including the Green Bay Packers, the United States Olympic Committee, Golf Channel, Major League Baseball Network, and the ATP World Tour. A lifelong athlete and tennis player, Citrin was a three-sport varsity athlete at Vassar College. He is the author of six books, including bestsellers: Lessons from the Top, The 5 Patterns of Extraordinary Careers, and You’re in Charge – Now What? His 2007 book, The Dynamic Path, detailed lessons on peak performance, leadership, and legacy building from the world’s greatest athletes including tennis legends John McEnroe, John Newcombe, and Billie Jean King.


Marianne Gaige was named president and CEO of Cathedral Corporation in 2008, having previously held the position of president and chief operating officer since 1996, and having been a senior manager with the company since 1992. Cathedral Corporation is an industry leader in printed and electronic financial communication programs, personalized direct mail, and e-marketing services, including analysis and application of customer data to create transpromotional checks, statements and invoices, highly targeted direct mail and a wide range of customer care communications. Prior to her leadership roles at Cathedral, Gaige was a manager with Price Waterhouse and a consultant with the Atlanta-based firm McMann & Dee. She has worked with many companies on strategic planning and improvement of operating efficiencies. Gaige and her family are avid tennis fans and longtime supporters of the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships. She earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Alfred University, and an M.B.A from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Business. She is also a C.P.A.


Jim Goldman was appointed president and CEO of Godiva Chocolatier in February 2004. Godiva is a leading maker and retailer of fine chocolates with distribution in over 70 countries globally. Godiva is a wholly owned subsidiary of Yildiz Holding, A.S., based in Istanbul, Turkey. Goldman joined the Campbell Soup Company (prior owner of Godiva) in 2001 as president – North American Food and Beverage, a division of Campbell with a diversified portfolio of leading food brands such as V8, Pace Salsas, and Prego pasta sauces. In this role, Goldman was also responsible for international operations in Mexico and Latin America. Prior to Campbell, Goldman worked at Nabisco, where he served as president of the Lifesavers Candy Company and held several other executive positions. Goldman is also a veteran of General Mills, and worked at McKinsey and Company as a strategic consultant to consumer driven companies in various industries. Goldman earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology from Dartmouth College in 1980, and his M.B.A. in marketing from Cornell University in 1985. Goldman currently serves on the Board of Directors at Domino’s Pizza.


David A. Haggerty began serving a two-year term as first vice president of the USTA in January 2011. He will serve as president of the USTA for the 2013-2014 term. Previously, he served one term as vice president, 2009-2010, and one term as a director-at-large, 2007-2008. He is a member of the Budget, International, Major Construction Oversight, and Compensation Committees, and represents the USTA on the Grand Slam Committee and the ITF Women’s Circuit Committee. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of USTA Serves. Previously, Haggerty served as the chair of the Strategic Planning Committee and as a member of the Compensation, Executive, Strategic Planning, and Budget Committees. Haggerty also served for six years on the Board of Directors of the USTA Middle States Section. He served a two-year term as president of the Tennis Industry Association from January 2007 to January 2009, and has served on the TIA’s Executive Committee for more than 20 years. Haggerty is the former chairman of Head USA, a position he held upon his retirement in March 2010. He began his career in tennis in 1980, when he was hired by Prince as product manager for accessories. In his 14 years at Prince, Haggerty worked his way up to general manager before taking a position at Dunlop as the president of Racquet Sports. He moved to Head in 1998, where he served as general manager and president of Head/Penn Racquet Sports before becoming chairman and chief executive officer of Head’s U.S. businesses. He currently serves as an external director on the Board of Directors of Kepner-Tregoe, a global management consulting firm. Haggerty was the No.1 singles player for three of his four years at The George Washington University, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration. Still an active player, in 2004-2005 Haggerty was nationally ranked in singles and doubles in the 45-and-over age division.


Bob Jeffrey is the chairman and CEO of JWT Worldwide, the world’s best known advertising agency brand for close to 150 years. As JWT’s CEO, Jeffrey is responsible for more than 800 offices and 10,000 employees in more than 90 countries; working with blue-chip clients such as Ford, HSBC, Johnson & Johnson, Nokia, Nestlé, Unilever, and others. Jeffrey’s mission is to lead JWT into the future by making things inspired by the world. This blending of international imagination and technological innovation is a process he calls worldmade. It is through this process that he has delivered a freshly reinvigorated network prepared to guide and build some of the world’s most powerful brands. Jeffrey is regarded as an ambassador of advertising and is widely respected for his views and achievements. His knowledge and experience of the industry led him to become a regular contributor to Fox Business Network, CNBC and CNN, as well as a frequent source of quotes for leading trade and business publications.


Stephen Lewinstein is the owner of Stephen R. Lewinstein Associates, a real estate investment and development firm, and a part owner of the Boston Celtics. Lewinstein was a part owner of Flashy Bull, a thoroughbred racehorse that was selected to run in the 2006 Kentucky Derby. He serves on the Board of Incorporators for Bank Newport and the Board of Governors for Newport Hospital, and is a member of his Dartmouth College Class Executive Committee. Lewinstein is a past Crusade Chairman of the Providence, R.I. Division of the American Cancer Society. His civic appointments include having served on the Providence Review Commission, the Providence Redevelopment Agency, and the Commission to Revise the Zoning Laws for the City of Providence. He presently sits on the Board of the Thayer Street District Management Authority, a joint initiative between landlords, Brown University, and the City of Providence. Lewinstein received a bachelor of arts degree from Dartmouth College in 1963, an LLB from Cornell University School of Law in 1967, and a master’s degree in taxation from Boston University Law School in 1970. He is the author of two juvenile sports novels – Double Play and Computer Coach.  


Betsy Nagelsen-McCormack was an internationally ranked player on the WTA Tour for more than 20 years, and a two-time Grand Slam tournament champion in doubles. She achieved a career high ranking of world No. 25 in singles and No. 11 in doubles, and won more than 30 career titles in singles and doubles. She won the Australian Open doubles title in 1978 and 1980, and was the singles finalist at the 1978 Australian Open. She was a four-time member of the U.S. Wightman Cup Team. Before launching her pro career, Nagelsen-McCormack was the world’s top junior player in 1973 and winner of the prestigious USTA Girls’ Sportsmanship Award. Playing in her 20th consecutive main draw at Wimbledon in 1993, Nagelsen-McCormack won the over-35 women’s doubles championship, and went on to win back-to-back titles in the US Open Senior women’s doubles in 1993 and 1994. After her retirement in 1996, Nagelsen-McCormack became a commentator for ABC and ESPN in the United States and Australia’s Nine Network. She was married to the late Mark McCormack, founder of the sports management group IMG. The couple donated money for the McCormack-Nagelsen Tennis Center at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va. The Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s Women’s Tennis Hall of Fame is located on the site. Today, Nagelsen-McCormack remains active in the sport, and serves as head coach for the State College of Florida Women’s Tennis Team.


Mark Panarese is a managing director of Rockefeller Financial, a leading investment and wealth management firm serving successful individuals, families, family offices, foundations, endowments, and other institutions, globally. Panarese established and manages Rockefeller’s Boston office and serves as senior advisor to a number of the firm’s clients. Prior to joining Rockefeller in 2004, Panarese spent six years at the Boston-based, wealth management firm of Atlantic Trust/Pell Rudman where, in addition to advising clients, he directed business development and served on its Executive Committee. He previously worked in the private client groups of Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse, First Boston, and Bear Stearns Asset Management. Panarese received an M.B.A. in finance from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and an A.B. in American history from Harvard College. He is active in alumni affairs at Milton Academy, his high school alma mater. He is also a director of Admirals Bank in Boston. Panarese and his family are avid tennis players and his two youngest children have earned USTA national junior rankings.


Located in Newport, Rhode Island, the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum offers an extensive museum that chronicles the history of the sport and honors the game’s greatest legends, historic grass tennis courts that date back to 1880 and are open to the public, an ATP World Tour tournament and the annual Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in July, and numerous public events year-round. To learn more, visit


About the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum  

Established in 1954, the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum is a non-profit institution dedicated to preserving the history of tennis, inspiring and encouraging junior tennis development, providing a landmark for tennis enthusiasts worldwide, and enshrining tennis heroes and heroines with the highest honor in the sport of tennis- induction into the International Tennis Hall of Fame. In 1986, the International Tennis Federation, the governing body of tennis, officially recognized the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum as the sport’s official Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame is located in Newport, Rhode Island, USA, on a six-acre property that features an extensive Museum chronicling the history of the sport and honoring the 225 Hall of Famers; 13 grass tennis courts and an indoor tennis facility that are open to the public and to a club membership; a rare Court Tennis facility; and an historic 297-seat theatre. Annually in July, the venue hosts the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships for the Van Alen Cup, an ATP World Tour event. The buildings and grounds, which were constructed in 1880 by McKim, Mead & White to serve as a social club for Newport’s summer residents, are renowned for their incredible architecture and preservation. The facility was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1987. The International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum is supported by Official Partners including BNP Paribas, Chubb Personal Insurance, Kia Motors and Rolex Watch USA. For information on the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum and its programs, call 401-849-3990 or visit us online at


LAS VEGAS, Nev. (Feb. 17, 2011) – A new athlete management company based in Las Vegas has announced the signing of professional tennis player Varvara Lepchenko, the No. 74 ranked player in the world.

Agent Atleta’s Jordan J. Butler will represent the 24-year-old Lepchenko, who is coming off the most successful season of her career in which she enjoyed wins over several former and current Top 50 players, including Julia Goerges, Melanie Oudin, Sorana Cirstea, and Mirjana Lucic.  She finished 2010 with fifteen straight victories on the USTA Pro Circuit, capturing three consecutive titles.  Lepchenko has ten ITF career titles to her credit.

Lepchenko was born in Tashkent, Soviet Union (now Uzbekistan), and currently resides in Allentown, PA.  She has been competing under a U.S. designation for the past several years and expects to obtain her U.S. citizenship this coming fall.  It is anticipated that the left-handed Lepchenko will be a candidate for the U.S. Fed Cup Team – there are currently only four Americans ahead of Lepchenko in the WTA world rankings.  Lepchenko recently expressed her desire to compete for her adopted country via her Twitter account (@varunchik1).

“Varvara is a great person and a very talented player who is beginning to hit her stride as a professional,” said Butler.  “Given her strong work ethic and inherent drive to succeed, her best years are clearly ahead of her.  Agent Atleta is ecstatic to represent Varvara’s career interests.”

Lepchenko is coached by her father, Peter Lepchenko.  She trains periodically at the USTA National Training Center in Flushing Meadows, N.Y.  Her next major WTA Tour event comes at the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells next month where she has been entered in the main draw.

About Agent Atleta Ltd.

Agent Atleta Ltd. is an athlete management company based in Las Vegas, Nevada, emphasizing comprehensive representation of professional tennis players.  Agent Atleta literally means “Athlete Agent,” the technically correct term for “sports agent,” as the agent represents the athlete as opposed to the sport.

Agent Atleta’s managing member, Jordan J. Butler, is a certified athlete agent, licensed attorney, and a member of the Sports Lawyers Association and the ABA Forum on Entertainment and Sports Law.  Mr. Butler has a diverse tennis background as a former nationally ranked junior and Division I college tennis player; freelance tennis journalist; and current co-director of the Lexus of Las Vegas Open, a $50,000 USTA Pro Circuit event.

Agent Atleta also counts American Julia Cohen amongst its clients.  Cohen turned professional in 2010 following a stellar junior and college career.  She is currently ranked No. 161 in the WTA world rankings.

Dinara Just Like Marat

There’s no denying Dinara Safina’s talent. At 23, the younger sister of former Grand Slam champion Marat Safin has accomplished plenty, joining older brother as the only siblings to ever reach No.1 in the world.

Despite holding the top spot after finishing runner-up at the first two grand slams (Australian, French), the enigmatic Safina has fizzled lately with a poor second half this season that’s included a blowout Wimbledon semifinal defeat in which she got only a game off Venus Williams and a third round U.S. Open exit at the hands of unheralded Czech Petra Kvitova to conclude a disappointing stay in New York.

Though it’s been a breakthrough year in terms of rankings and reaching her first ever major finals, something seems to be missing. After another disappointment at the upset marred Pan Pacific Open, falling to unknown qualifier Chang Kai-Chen in three sets, Safina continues to receive heavy criticism for something she can’t control. When she became the 19th women’s top ranked player on April 20, it was due to hard work.

Not long ago, the second ever female Russian to hit No.1 (joined Maria Sharapova) was ranked just outside the Top 15 when she upset seven-time slam winner Justine Henin in a French tuneup, sending the Belgian to retirement. Two and a half years later, the 27 year-old saw that it was possible to return thanks to countrywoman Kim Clijsters’ impressive run claiming her second Open earlier this month with triumphs over both Williams sisters, completing it with a straight set victory over current No.5 riser Caroline Wozniacki.

So, Safina’s path to winning that elusive major just got tougher. She certainly hits one of the biggest balls on the WTA Tour. But thus far, her struggle to gain worldwide respect reminds us too much of Marat, who’s hanging it up later this year. Sadly, one of the game’s most gifted players on the ATP is burnt out at 29. While that’s an age when many in tennis call it quits, one ponders how many more majors he could’ve won if he’d put his mind to it.

Back in 2000, anything seemed possible with the then 20 year-old destroying Pete Sampras in straights at the Open. Something unheard of. With a great serve and blistering ground strokes that included a deadly backhand, the big man’s future looked very promising. Instead of continuing to win majors, he enjoyed his success a little too much. Perhaps the new lifestyle contributed to him not fulfilling potential.

Though the root of the problem couldn’t really be blamed on partying but rather Safin losing concentration during matches. He was always a tough out making three Australian Open finals. After dropping the first two due to an admitted bout with confidence, he won his second slam in grand fashion by upsetting Roger Federer in a memorable five set semifinal that saw him fight off match point. Fresh off ending the Swiss Maestro’s 26-match win streak over Top 10 foes, he completed it by besting Aussie hometown favorite Lleyton Hewitt in four sets.

Following the impressive run, many including us expected him to get back in contention. However, that never came to fruition with Safin teasing many with his immense skills. Amazingly, he had his best run at Wimbledon in 2008 going all the way to the semis before Federer drove him nuts in three tight sets. That it came with him ranked No.75 was no shock. You never could tell what you were getting from the only Russian man who ever made the Final Four at the All England Club.

Maybe that helps better explain Safina who’s still young enough to have a great career. She can take solace knowing that Marat has a Hall of Fame resume featuring the two slams, two Aussie runner-ups, No.1 ranking and helping their home country Russia win its first ever Davis Cup in 2002 on a stacked team that included former No.1 Yevgeny Kafelnikov, Mikhail Youzhny and Andrei Stoliarov. They also won in 2006 with Safin an integral part winning doubles with Dmitry Tursunov and a singles win over Argentina’s Jose Acasuso.

For the younger Safina, she’s already won 12 titles, reached two slam finals, hit No.1 and won Olympic silver in singles when she fell to countrywoman Elena Dementieva in three tight sets at Beijing. So, her career has hardly been disappointing. If only she could get over the hump and win a slam, it would silence many critics. But hey. We could easily say the same thing for the talented Dementieva and former outspoken No.1 Jelena Jankovic, who’s dipped to No.8.

For the ladies, it’s not easy to win majors when you’re competing with Venus and Serena Williams. If Sharapova returns to form next year, watch out. With Clijsters and Henin back along with Wozniacki looking to take the next step, the women’s game has become much better. Another proven Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova also won her second slam routing Safina at Roland Garros earlier this year. American Melanie Oudin made a name for herself at Flushing Meadows as did German Sabine Lisicki at Wimbledon.

There’s plenty of talent which also includes Russian enigmas Vera Zvonareva and Nadia Petrova, who have big enough games to compete but lack the mental capacity. This is a similar issue Safina’s dealing with as is former 2008 French Open winner Ana Ivanovic, who continued to struggle in a first round loss to Czech Lucie Safarova in which she had 11 double faults. Italian Flavia Pennetta, who reached the Open quarters before falling to Serena also is a good player. So too is 20 year-old Serbian Victoria Azarenka who after a strong start has experienced growing pains which have included temper tantrums.

So much of the battle is the head. Something Safina’s older brother referred to when he conquered Federer down under, terming the big upset a “head battle.” Very little separates the top players on each side. However, sometimes it’s what’s going on upstairs which can determine the outcome. This is also true of sports in general where even the biggest stars such as Alex Rodriguez can struggle under the spotlight. Whether that continues for the Yankee star third baseman on a superb team this October, we’ll know soon enough.

Aside from dealing with confidence issues, there’s also strategy which comes into play in an ultra competitive sport like tennis. Players who can adjust during matches usually have success. That can sometimes require alternating game plans. Something we haven’t seen a whole lot of on the women’s side where a plethora of top ranked players go bigger and bigger 24/7. Even with her injuries, Sharapova’s been a disappointment who should have more than two slams (2004 Wimbledon, 2007 U.S. Open). Power can only take you so far.

Tennis can use players who think outside the box like former No.1 Martina Hingis. Precisely what they’re getting with Clijsters and Henin who can hit with the best of them but also possess great speed and balance which helps create angles. They also aren’t afraid to come to the net to finish points. Something we saw the 19 year-old Dane Wozniacki do in her loss to Clijsters. Another player who closes well is Venus by using her size and athleticism effectively. Younger sis Serena is capable but usually prefers outslugging opponents while playing great D.

To truly be great, a player must always be willing to adjust on the fly. If something’s not working, change it up. How many times do you hear the frustration in Brad Gilbert or Martina Navratilova’s voice? They beat it over and over again and probably shake their heads in disgust at such gifted players not getting the most out of their God given ability.

For Safina, who can implode on the court similarly to emotional brother Marat, she must address this. It will be crucial to her future. She’s plenty good enough to win majors. But it’s taking that next step which will help determine how successful she is.

She seems like a wonderful person with her entertaining brother’s winning personality. So, she knows what’s wrong. It’s how she goes about fixing it that could wind up in even better results.

It’s Czink Against Safarova in the Final

QUEBEC CITY, Quebec – It’s a battle of No. 4 vs No. 5 in the Bell Challenge finals as Lucie Safarova takes on Melinda Czink in the finals.

First up was the Russian. Safarova, who fought off eight break points in her 6-3, 6-2 win over No. 8 seed Julia Goerges.

“I’m really happy because this is my first final this year,” Safarova said. “I feel like I’m playing pretty good and you always feel good when you’re winning.”

“I’m a little tired now, but I will be fine for the final tomorrow. I just hope I’ll be ready to play my best against either one of my potential opponents.”

Then came Czink who beat local favorite and No. 3 seed Aleksandra Wozniak in straight sets 6-3, 6-3. It was the fourth victory in four tries over the Canadian for Czink, two coming in ITF competition and now two on the WTA tour.

Yet, Czink was fresh for her match, since her quarterfinal only went one set as defending champion Nadia Petrova had to retire due to an illness.

The finals for the $225,000 tournament happens tomorrow.

Kim’s Cooler Head Prevails

The circumstances were far from ideal. The rain hadn’t stopped all day throwing another curve into the schedule which forced both women’s semifinals to be played at the same time in Ashe and Louis Armstrong while both doubles matches were pushed back.

Perhaps that’s why Kim Clijsters is in her second straight U.S. Open final trying to become the first Mom to win a grand slam title since Evonne Goolagong Cawley back in 1980 (Wimbledon).

Oh. Did we also mention that when the Mom of 18-month old Jade plays ninth seeded Caroline Wozniacki for all the marbles later tonight in primetime at 9 PM on ESPN2, the unseeded Belgian was absent from the last three? Indeed, the 26 year-old former 2005 champ missed a chance to defend her crown due to injury and wasn’t even on the WTA Tour the past two years until 10 weeks ago. Since then, she’s gone 11-2 and will aim to become the first ever ladies wildcard to win a major.

“Maybe a little out of today’s match just because, you know, you want to finish that last point, kind of, especially when you hit like I was seeing the ball really well, I was hitting well, and I was really focused,” a pleased Clijsters said on whether her return has inspired people.

“It’s a little bit unfortunate that I didn’t have that, but it’s not going to take anything away from tomorrow’s match or how special that would be for me, and for both of us.”

Now, her incredible comeback continues by doing something few have. Not beating one Williams but both even if it was under bizarre circumstances with Serena Williams losing her cool late on a controversial call in a very tight second set.

Yes, the overwhelming favorite didn’t keep it together after a line judge nailed her for a foot fault handing Clijsters double match point. CBS replays were inconclusive with the call coming at a pivotal moment. As she was about to step up and serve, Williams made the costly mistake of walking over to have a few choice words for the poor judge. Unfortunately, the 27 year-old American let out several expletives which resulted in a very awkward and devastating conclusion to a quality match.

“I”m not going to sit here and make an excuse. If I foot fault, I did. It was what it was, and that’s basically all it was,” lamented Williams.

Following a meeting between the chair umpire and lines person, she reported what was said. With Serena anxiously waiting at the baseline and Clijsters wondering what was happening, eventually the 11-time slam winner was called up by the umpire forcing tournament referee Brian Earley to pay a visit along with tournament official Donna Kelso.

“She was called for a foot fault, and a point later, she said something to a line umpire, and it was reported to the chair, and that resulted in a point penalty,” a very subdued Earley explained. “And it just happened that point penalty was match point. It was a code violation for unsportsmanlike conduct.”

Due to Williams breaking her racket following losing the first set which she received a warning for, the temper tantrum cost her any chance to repeat, resulting in a point penalty which meant the match. When Serena walked across the net to congratulate Clijsters, the stunned Belgian almost didn’t want to accept the 6-4, 7-5 semi victory which she quite deserved before a stunned, loyal half capacity crowd.

“Yeah, I mean, it’s unfortunate that a match that I was playing so well at to end that way,” a surprised Clijsters remarked after improving to 2-8 career versus Serena.

“You know, obviously, yeah, I still to this point I’m a little confused about what happened out there, and, um, just because I was so focused. You know, just trying to win that last point for me. So then things ended up ending a little bit different than I expected.”

“Well, I said something that I guess they gave me a point penalty. Unfortunately it was on match point,” was how Williams put it while adding:

No, I didn’t think I would get a point penalty. I didn’t think about it.”

Sometimes in sports, things happen. Chalk it up to emotions getting the better turning the champ into chump. Yes. The cooler player prevailed. With few giving her a chance after already sending Venus Williams home two rounds prior, Clijsters was superior.

Following a lengthy eight and a half hour delay, it was Kim who dealt with the elements better to pull off another upset knocking out the three-time Open winner.

It took a while for both players to get going due to a few sprinkles which fell and seemed to unnerve Serena more than Clijsters. The difference was that Clijsters hit the cleaner ball while an unsteady Williams misfired from the baseline. Able to deal with the pace, the speedy popular former champ was able to run down shots and come up with precision hitting creating nice angles.

They exchanged breaks in the sixth and seventh games but ultimately, Clijsters stayed strong holding for 5-4 to put pressure on Serena to stay in the set. A couple of points from squaring it, she fell apart dropping the next four to hand it over. After a Clijsters forehand winner made it 30-all, two Williams miscues including a netted backhand gave her gritty opponent a set lead to which she slammed her racket in disgust. Who knew that would play such a big role in a match of this magnitude?

When Williams seemed ready to make a run breaking Clijsters in the opening game of the second set highlighted by a couple of lethal return winners, she allowed Kim to stick around by dropping serve with a double fault.

All match, the WTA’s best server struggled mightily winning just 32 percent of second serves (10 of 31) due in large part to Clijsters’ aggressive play. That was the biggest difference making Williams’ serve attackable with Clijsters breaking her one more time than she’d been all tournament. Four when she had only allowed three entering last night.

Despite her serving issues, a sharper Williams pressed on earning a break in the fifth game when a nice dropshot setup a textbook crosscourt pass for 3-2. But yet again, a resilient Clijsters came right back. After Serena fought off three break points, she earned a fourth and converted thanks to a big forehand which drew an error to get back even.

Following Clijsters digging out of 15-30 to hold for 4-3, a big backhand gave her two more chances to break and serve for the match. However, as often happens with Williams, she toughened saving both winning a baseline exchange and a swinging volley winner. Still in trouble, she delivered an ace out wide to fight off a third. Entering the game, she had three aces but matched that total with clutch serving for four all.

Each then traded holds. A Clijsters ace out wide put her a game away from the final. Then came the embarrassing conclusion to a great set that had fans into it.

Already trailing in the critical game 15-30 due to a pair of errors, Williams faulted. Then came the foot fault from Hell.

“I used to have a real temper, and I’ve gotten a lot better,” an under control Williams said during a long postmatch press conference. “So I know you don’t believe me, but I used to be worse. Yes, yes, indeed.”

Not on this night.