Former World No.1 Kim Clijsters announced on Thursday that she would be making a comeback to professional tennis in 2020. In a video released on her twitter account, the Belgian tennis player said that she missed playing professional tennis and that she wishes to be on tour again.
In the video, Clijsters said that she has been away from professional tennis for seven years, and during that time she enjoyed being a mother to her three kids. However, at the same time, she also loved being a professional tennis player and would thus try doing the two together. Clijsters has won 41 singles titles throughout her career, which she began in 1997. She played her last competitive match in 2012 at the US Open.
Speaking to the Women's Tennis Association (WTA), she said, "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."
This will be her second return to professional tennis after she announced retirement at the age of 23 because of injuries and in order to start a family. She stayed off the court for two years and made a return in August 2009 when she played at the Western & Southern Open and Rogers Cup. In just her third tournament after her return, she won the US Open, beating Venus Williams, Li Na, Serena Williams, and Caroline Wozniacki in the process. She also won the Australian Open in 2011 and then became world number one sometime later.
She will be returning to tour in 2020. However, her focus will first be on fitness and to check whether her body is ready and will be able to be in shape to play tennis at the level which she would like to be at. Although Clijsters has set a return date of January as a target, she will first try and see the level to which she is at and then decide the tournament in which she is hoping to make her return.
As Clijsters has been a former number one, she is eligible for unlimited wild cards at WTA tournaments.