Busted Racquet - Tennis

Kim Clijsters got some nice parting gifts for winning the U.S. Open: a check for $2.2 million, a nice, shiny trophy, a hug from her daughter and a two-spot drop in the rankings.

[Related: Clijsters celebrates U.S. Open with toddler daughter]

Yeah, you read that correctly. After winning the biggest event in the sport, Clijsters slipped from No. 3 to No. 5 in the WTA rankings. Here's how it went down:

Clijsters earned 2,000 rankings points for winning this year's tournament, but it had no net effect on her old ranking because she was defending 2,000 points via her win in '09. No matter what she did in New York, she couldn't earn any more points.

[Photos: See Kim Clijsters in action at the U.S. Open]

Vera Zvonareva and Venus Williams could though. Both players were bounced in the fourth round of last year's tournament and earned 280 points in the WTA rankings as a result. This year Venus made the semifinals and Vera advanced to the finals, gaining 620 and 1,120 points, respectively. This enabled both players to catapult past Clijsters.

The lesson to be learned here is the same as always: Rankings don't mean a thing.

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