WTA

Clijsters retires for third time

By Sports Desk April 12, 2022

Kim Clijsters has called time on her latest tennis comeback, announcing her retirement from playing in official tournaments.

The Belgian surprisingly stepped away from the sport in 2007, before returning in 2009 to win back-to-back US Open titles in 2009 and 2010 before being crowned the 2011 Australian Open champion.

Clijsters retired again after the 2012 US Open, where she was beaten in the second round, before returning in February 2020 at the age of 36.

The former world number one's first match in over seven years came at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, losing in straight sets to Garbine Muguruza, while her last official match was in October, when she was defeated by Katerina Siniakova in the first round at Indian Wells.

Clijsters took to Instagram on Tuesday to announce her decision, posting: "I want to share with you that I have decided to no longer play official tournaments. I can't wait to see what new adventures will cross my path. Thank you to everyone who has supported me over the past two years!"

Mother of three Clijsters revealed stepping away from tennis again had "been on my mind for a while."

"I still love to hit the ball," she told the WTA website. "With my schedule, three, four days was enough to keep my rhythm under control but definitely not good enough if I decided to play another tournament. Say, if I picked Australia, it's three, four weeks. That's just not possible at this stage in our family life.

"Life just sort of takes over, right?"

Clijsters won three US Open singles titles in all, as well as her Australian Open crown, and in 2003 won both the French Open and Wimbledon doubles titles with Ai Sugiyama.

She became world number one on four separate occasions, winning 41 overall titles and boasting a career match record of 523-131 (80.0 per cent).

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