Kim Clijsters and mixed-doubles partner Bob Bryan fell 6-2, 3-6, 12-10 to Eketerina Makarova & Bruno Soares, ending Clijster's professional playing career. The match went back and forth, but ended as Clijsters final shot as a pro hit the net. Even in defeat, Clijsters put on a show for the packed crowd on Court 17 and smiled through it all. Husband Brian Lynch, watching from the stands with their 4-year-old daughter, Jada, in his lap playing with a stuffed animal.
''I had a great night,'' Clijsters said. ''And I couldn't have asked for a better way to finish here.''
Clijsters, a four-time Grand Slam champion, announced months ago the U.S. Open would be her last tournament. She lost to British teen Laura Robson in singles Wednesday, snapping a 22-match winning streak at Flushing Meadows, where Clijsters won titles in 2005, 2009 and 2010. Clijsters and Kirsten Flipkens lost in the first round of women's doubles Thursday.
''To be honest, it came to a moment where winning or losing was just a small part of the whole thing tonight,'' Soares said. ''It was just so nice, so fulfilling to be playing that match. I was happy either way.''
Bryan, who has 11 Grand Slam doubles titles with his brother, Mike, said regardless of whether they get No. 12 next weekend, the chance to play with Clijsters is ''really is the highlight of the tournament.''
Soares agreed. He and Makarova have combined to oust Clijsters, both the Bryan Brothers and Lisa Raymond who has 11 Grand Slam doubles titles to her name, on back-to-back nights.