We already know Saina Mirza, Serena Williams making their return after starting a family. Now another supermom has made her entry. Now it’s not uncommon to see tennis players return to tennis after some time off due to injury.
But this particular player, at the age of 36, has returned to tennis after playing her last tournament at the 2012 edition of the US Open. After a gap of seven years Kim Clijsters made her comeback at the Dubai Open, even though she didn’t have a fairytale return as she lost her opening match.
I may have lost the match but for me this was a win. Being back on Court … that’s the feeling and energy I’ve missed and loved finding it again. Now looking forward to working together with my team to continue to grow and find my rhythm – step by step! 💪 #fortheloveofthegame pic.twitter.com/wFRcp4JaYq— Kim Clijsters (@Clijsterskim) February 18, 2020
In these seven years, she has given birth to two children and competed in a host of exhibition matches. But last year she announced that she would be making a return to the professional tour in 2020, and it turns out that Dubai will be the first stop in her return.
So who exactly is Kim Clijsters?
She is a Belgian tennis player who made her debut in 1997 and has won 6 Grand Slams in total (4 in singles and 2 in doubles). She has also been the World No. 1 in both singles and doubles, becoming the first Belgian to attain the No. 1 position.
She in fact held the No. 1 position in both singles and doubles simultaneously! In total, she won 41 singles titles and 11 doubles titles on the WTA tour. Among them were 3 WTA Tour Championships (the year ending tournament) titles.
Interestingly, Clijsters has retired twice in her career already. She first retired in 2007, due to injury issues and the lack of desire to compete, then got married and had a daughter before returning back to the sport two years later.
After her return, she won her second US Open title, which was just her third tournament back. She was also unranked when she won the title.
But she didn’t stop there. She went on to defend the title the next year and then also won the Australian Open in 2011. This led to her becoming the first mother to be ranked World No. 1 by the WTA.
Time will tell how the third innings of Clijsters’ tennis career turns out to be. But one thing is sure: whatever happens, her story is going to be one of the most inspirational stories in the sporting world.