Kim Clijsters had retired from tennis in September 2012, with four Grand Slam titles and a numerous others to boot. More than seven years on, she will be attempting to make another comeback to the game and the fans couldn’t be happier.
In a post on social media, Clijsters announced she was looking to return to tennis next year, inspired by Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka, both of whom are competing at the highest level after returning from the birth of their children.
— Kim Clijsters (@Clijsterskim) September 12, 2019
“Mothers are trying to compete at the highest level – that is the inspiration. I don’t really feel like I want to prove something. I think for me it’s the challenge.”
“My goal right now is to be able to be fit enough to compete at the highest level and then if you get to that stage, let’s see if I can get to the second stage of a Grand Slam.”
“I will continue to push myself each goal I set.”
Having been the number one player on the women’s charts, Clijsters will have the advantage of getting as many wild-cards as possible and once she has played three tournaments or earned 10 points, she will be ranked as well.
A mother of three children now, Clijsters had first retired from the game in May 2007 only to return in August 2009. She played on for three more years after that, won three Grand Slam titles and then retired from the second time in September 2012.
This was followed by a stint as a commentator and running her own tennis academy but she now wants to return to the thrill of playing at the highest level.
Clijsters admitted there was a possibility she wouldn’t be successful in returning to the game but the process, which began about two years ago with a thought of making a comeback, has been worth the effort.
“Let’s see if I can get my body in shape to play tennis at a level where I would like it to be at, that I have in mind of where I would like to get to, and see if it’s possible. To see, first of all, if my body is capable of even doing that.”
The Belgian first won a Grand Slam in 2005 when she lifted the US Open by beating Mary Pierce in the final, overcoming Venus Williams and Maria Sharapova on the way. Four years later, she defeated Caroline Wozniacki in the 2009 US Open final to make it two titles, having entered the tournament as a wild-card. Again, she defeated both the Williams sisters, Venus and Serena, and Li Na before a straight-set win clinched the title for her.
The 2010 US Open saw Clijsters defend her title with a 6-2, 6-1 win over Vera Zvonareva in the final but yet again, she needed to get past Venus Williams, Petra Kvitova, Ana Ivanovic and Samantha Stosur in the process. Her last Grand Slam title came at the 2011 Australian Open with a three-set win over Li Na in the final, and while she did make it to the semi-finals at the 2012 Australian Open, that turned out to be her best result since.