At 36 years of age and with three children, Kim Clijsters is making a comeback to the tour at the Dubai Duty Free Championships which start on February 17 after accepting a wild card to the event.
I don't feel like I need to prove anything, but I want to challenge myself and I want to be strong again Kim Clijsters
The former world number one in both singles and doubles and holder of six grand slam titles – four singles two doubles – explains why she is making this comeback, having retired in 2012 for a second time.
“I have friends who would say ‘I want to run the New York Marathon before I turn 50’,” th Belgian star said, “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 be the hitting partner for your practice today’.” she told wtatennis.com after announcing her comeback.
“The love for the sport is obviously still there. 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 ‘Okay, let’s try this’.”
It won’t be easy for the line up includes 2019 Wimbledon champion Simona Halep, US Open winner Bianca Andreescu, 2020 Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin, defending Dubai champion Belinda Bencic and this year’s Brisbane champion Karolina Pliskova.
“I am really excited to be getting back to the match court. I know it’s a special anniversary for the Dubai Duty Free Championships so it’s an honour to be making my return to the game and debut in Dubai at the same time,” she added.
“I can’t wait to return to the game I love and play in front of the fans again – the support and encouragement that I’ve received since the announcement has been overwhelming.”