Former Australian Open winner Kim Clijsters returns to tennis
More than 20 years after making her professional debut, Kim Clijsters will be back on the pitch tomorrow in her final comeback offer.
Clijsters will face Taiwanese Hsieh Su-Wei in the first round of the WTA event in Chicago tomorrow, with the aim of securing her first victory since 2012.
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The Belgian returned to professional tennis last year after an eight-year hiatus, but lost all three matches she played, including in the US Open first round against Russia’s Ekaterina Alexandrova.
She recently played an exhibition game against Sloane Stephens at the Atlanta Open, which she lost 6-4, 6-4.
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Clijsters first appeared in a major tournament in 1999, qualifying for the last 16 at Wimbledon. She was quickly adopted by Australian crowds in the early 2000s thanks to her relationship with Lleyton Hewitt, with media and fans calling her “Aussie Kim”.
After winning her first major tournament at the 2005 US Open, she first retired from the sport after the 2007 Australian Open to raise a family. She returned to court in 2009 and won two more US Open, before winning her fourth and final major in Melbourne in 2011.
She will retire the following year.
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Clijsters turned 38 in June, meaning if she won the tournament, she would make Serena Williams (38, 3 months, 17 days old) the third oldest woman to win a WTA event.
Kimiko Date-Krumm was one month away from her 39th birthday when she won the 2008 Korean Open, and Billie Jean King was less than six months away from her 40th birthday when she won the 1983 Edgbaston Cup (now called Birmingham Classic).
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