Kim Clijsters stuns tennis world with shock comeback announcement

Tanya Simon
September 13, 2019

Four-time Grand Slam champion Kim Clijsters is planning a second comeback to her tennis career.

The 36-year-old Belgian said, "I don't really feel like I want to prove something". I really, really do. "And honestly I miss that feeling", she said on Twitter.

"So ... what if I tried to do both?" she asked.

This will be Clijsters' second comeback.

The Belgian former world number one initially retired in 2007 to start a family, two years after winning her first Grand Slam at the US Open. She returned in July 2009, and after making it to the quarterfinals in her first tournament, she won her third tournament - which just happened to be the 2009 US Open. The four-time Major champion has not played since the US Open 2012, having three kids (born in 2008, 2013 and 2016) with a former Villanova basketball player Bryan Lynch and working at her Academy, as a commentator and also with compatriots Elise Mertens and Yanina Wickmayer.

Clijsters is eligible for unlimited wild cards in WTA tournaments but needs to play in three events to get a world ranking. Roddick and Clijsters had won the 2005 US Open Series and competed for doubles prize money together.

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Fascinatingly, with Clijsters returning to action, that means that all the women who won three or more Grand Slams in the last 15 years are still playing... all except one.

In a cellphone interview with a small community of newshounds, Clijsters mentioned that her predominant motivation used to be to self-discipline herself.

Top seed Karolina Pliskova, whose match against Slovenia's Polona Hercog was suspended late on Wednesday, will kick off today's matches with the score at 6-3, 2-5 in her favour while third seed Kiki Bertens faces Australia's Ajla Tomljanovic.

With 41 singles titles, Clijsters is beaten only in the trophy count by Serena Williams and Venus Williams among players active on tour, while her haul is the 14th highest in the Open era.

Following back-to-back titles in NY in 2009 and 2010, she also added the 2011 Australian Open to her list of honours. "I'm surprised how, at times when I'm going through a rough practice, how easy it is for me to stick with it and to fight through it and to push through it".

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