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Former world number one Kim Clijsters to return to tennis in 2020

Shane Hannon
Shane Hannon

13:29 12 Sep 2019

Former world number one and four-time Grand Slam singles winner Kim Clijsters has announced she will be making a return to tennis in 2020.

The 36-year-old Belgian will make a second return to the game and will be playing on the WTA Tour from next year.

In a video posted on her social media, Clijsters said she had dedicated a lot of time to being a full-time mother, but missed the buzz of the game.

"What do I really want from life? For the past seven years, I've been a full-time Mum, and I love it. I really, really do.

"But I also loved being a professional tennis player. And honestly, I miss that feeling. So, what if I tried to do both? Could I be a loving Mum to my three kids and the best tennis player I can possibly be?

"Let's do this. Let's come back one more time. See you in 2020!"

Clijsters held world number one in both singles and doubles simultaneously in 2003. She was the first Belgian to achieve the number one ranking in the world in the sport.

Between singles and doubles, she was a champion at all four Grand Slam tournaments, winning the US Open and Australian Open in the singles game, and Wimbledon and the French Open in doubles.

Clijsters won three US Open championships in 2005, 2009 and 2010. Her triumph in Australia came in 2011.

"I don't really feel like I want to prove something," Clijsters said on the WTA Insider Podcast. "I think for me it's the challenge.

"I have friends who would say, I want to run the New York Marathon before I turn 50. For me, I still love to play tennis. Whenever I'm at a Grand Slam playing the Legends, if somebody asked me hey, do you want to hit some balls, I'm the first one to be like I'll hit. I'll be the hitting partner for your practice today. I still love playing tennis.

"The love for the sport is obviously still there. But the question still is, am I capable of bringing it to a level where I would like it to be at and where I want it to be at before I want to play at a high level of one of the best women's sports in the world.

"I don't feel like I need to prove anything, but I want to challenge myself and I want to be strong again. This is my marathon. This is where I'm saying OK, let's try this."

Clijsters initially retired from tennis in 2007 at the age of just 23, citing her priority in having a daughter and to recover from injuries.

She returned in 2009 but officially retired from the sport in 2012 after the US Open at Flushing Meadows.

 

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Australian Open Belgium Flushing Meadows French Open Kim Clijsters Off The Ball Tennis US Open Wimbledon

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