Friday, 20 September, 2019

Kim Clijsters announces 2020 comeback - 'I love the challenge'

Tennis: Ex-world number 1, Kim Clijsters, announces surprise comeback Kim Clijsters stuns tennis world with shock comeback announcement
Cary Erickson | 13 September, 2019, 05:27

In 2009, Clijsters staged a memorable comeback during the American hard court season, which culminated in her winning the US Open title, making her the first mother to win a singles major title since Evonne Goolagong-Cawley at Wimbledon 1980.

Embracing reduced schedule in 2010, Clijsters conquered Brisbane, Miami, Cincinnati, the US Open and the WTA Championships, proving her class again and adding the fourth Major crown to her tally next January in Melbourne, becoming world no.

Clijsters won her first Grand Slam title at the US Open in 2005 after four runner-up finishes in majors in her "first career" and after 26 months away from the tour launched a successful comeback.

"But I also love being a professional tennis player". Honestly, I miss that feeling.

"So, what if I tried to do both?" On Thursday, Clijsters, among the few players to become World No 1 in both singles and doubles, announced her return to Tennis for a second time.

"The last tournament was at Challenger level which was good for me".

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She said: "We can talk about the start of 2020 and see where can we get a wildcard, but if I feel in December that I'm not even near to where I want to be, then I'm not going to go just for the sake of going somewhere".

Clijsters defended her title at Flushing Meadows the following year and then won the Australia Open in 2011 en route to topping the world rankings for the first time since 2006.

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

After a seven-year hiatus and the birth of her two sons, Clijsters began training in early 2019 and re-established her connections with Carl Maes and Sam Verslegers - her former coach and osteopath respectively.

Clijsters was known as "Aussie Kim" after her relationship with Aussie champion Lleyton Hewitt. "For me, I still love to play tennis", she said.

Owing to the status gained from her past accomplishments, the mother-of-three will benefit from unlimited wildcards as she rejoins the professional ranks. "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".