With the recent announcement of Caroline Wozniacki’s plan to retire from tennis after the 2020 Australian Open and the November announcement that Dominika Cibulkova is retiring, women’s tennis needed a bit of a boost. On Monday, the WTA got just that. At 36 years of age, Kim Clijsters is making a comeback according to the Associated Press.
Clijsters has not played since playing mixed doubles with American doubles tennis legend Bob Bryan of Sunny Iles Beach, FL at the 2012 United States Open. In fact, Clijsters intended to come back sooner, but had to delay her comeback after suffering a torn ligament in her right knee in November.
Clijsters’s first tournament in her comeback is scheduled to be the Monterrey Open in March. The tournament began in 2009 with Marion Bartoli of France as the women’s singles champion. The star over the years in Monterrey has been Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia, who has won the title four times. In the last two years, Garbine Muguruza of Spain was the champion on each occasion.
A four-time singles grand slam champion, Clijsters won the United States Open three times and the 2011 Australian Open. Clijsters and Justine Henin, who won seven grand slam singles tennis championships, could be considered as the two best Belgian athletes in any sport. Clijsters is initially from Blizen and Henin is initially from Liege.
Clijsters won her first singles major title at the 2005 United States Open. She defeated Mary Pierce of France 6-3, 6-1 in the final. That was followed by a 7-5, 6-3 win over Wozniacki of Denmark in the 2009 U.S. Open Final, a 6-2, 6-1 win over Vera Zvonareva of Russia in the 2010 U.S. Open Final and a 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 win over Li Na of China in the 2011 Australian Open Final.
Clijsters has spent 117 weeks at number one in the world. In 2017, she was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, RI.
Clijsters has accepted a wildcard into the Monterrey Open. She also accepted wildcards into the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, CA in March and the Volvo Car Open in Charleston, SC in April.